“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
When we moved into our first little rental house with snaking sidewalks and a dandelion-dotted yard, my 2-year-old was fascinated with the back door. The door itself wasn’t anything special, but beyond its paint-chipped frame were soaring blue skies and soft green grass, a squat little sandbox and a big tall slide. And when those squeaky hinges swung open wide, our small son’s world opened wide, too.
Though Lukas wasn’t able to open the back door himself, he soon discovered that if he pounded persistently on that weary wood, I’d open the door with a playful push.
Down the hallway, there was a second door that intrigued my toddler too. However, this door didn’t lead to the great outdoors. It led to a storage closet piled high with a haphazard heap of boxes and crates.
Much to my toddler’s dismay, no amount of knocking made that closet door budge. I knew how quickly teetering boxes and careening crates could turn into a toddler-toppling-catastrophe, so I refused to turn the knob at his bidding.
Unfortunately, that closet door became a giant source of frustration for my wee one. Countless times a day, Lukas would pound on it with a tight-fisted rap. And when he’d realize his knocking was to no avail, he’d protest my response with a flush-faced wail.
Finally, one afternoon when my patience was waning and my son was sobbing, I slumped to the floor in front of that closet door and echoed my disgruntled boy’s cries.
When our wails finally turned to whimpers, I cupped Lukas’ crimson face and declared, “I love you too much to open this door!” Then, looking him in the eye, I pleaded, “Would you please just trust me?”
As my words hung heavy in the air between us, I felt a wave of conviction swell within me. You see, my toddler wasn’t the only one frustrated by closed doors; his mom was discouraged as well.
For years, I’d been asking God to open doors for me — doors of opportunity and advancement, doors of healing and gain. But God’s answer in that particular season of my life was “no.”
Little by little, I’d allowed those closed doors to open my heart to doubts:
Maybe God doesn’t care about my dreams.
Maybe God doesn’t listen to my prayers.
Maybe God isn’t good all the time.
But when I found myself sitting in a narrow hallway with a tantrum-throwing toddler on my lap and a swell of tears in my eyes, I realized the closed doors in my life weren’t much different than that tightly shut closet.
With the humility of a parent who is also a child, I finally recognized that God’s “no’s” aren’t a declaration of His displeasure, but an expression of His love.
God’s love is mighty enough to open any door and merciful enough to hold it shut. And when we remember that inarguable truth, we can admit that the closed doors in our lives don’t raise the question of God’s faithfulness; they reveal a
quandary of our faith.
We may trust God to be the guardian of our souls, but will we trust Him to be the guardian of our doors as well?
It’s a question we all confront as we navigate the ever-changing landscapes of our lives. Perhaps that’s why Proverbs 3:5 advises us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”
It can be difficult to rest in God’s wisdom when we don’t understand His ways. But if we’re honest, our limited vision is no match for our Father’s sovereign sight. Just as my young son didn’t know what waited beyond the closet door, we can’t fully understand what lies on the other side of our prayers and pleas.
God sees the future, knows the past and directs our steps in the present with unchanging love.
All He asks of us is what I asked my son on that long-ago day in the hallway of our little rental house:
“Would you please just trust me?”
Dear Jesus, I know Your heart is good, and Your love for me is unchanging. Help me to trust You more, so I can rest in Your wisdom instead of wailing against it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Psalm 86:2, “Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
How are you being challenged to trust God with your closed doors right now? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
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