Have you experienced knocking on doors, trying for opportunities, seeking God’s will, only to find every single door (or window) close on you? I think we’ve all gone through situations like this. Sometimes it’s a job you are seeking, a spouse, even ministry. And yet with each knock comes the annoying feeling that even through all your efforts, it’s not going to work out the way you would like it to.
I recently observed something that spoke to me about this frustration. Right above our front door I saw a robin trying to make a nest on the narrowest of ledges. I knew it would not be a good spot for her nest because we open and close that door all the time. I would even go out and talk to the robin (thinking it could hear me!) telling it that there were a million trees around, why not build in them because it’d be a lot safer and make your little chicks a lot more secure! Every day I’d go out and take down what part of the nest had begun and every morning, and sometimes afternoon, I’d have to tear down its nest again. Believe me, I like animals, so it wasn’t that I didn’t want little birds growing on top of my front door. But, it wasn’t a safe place. My actions were born out of wanting good for the birds.
It spoke to me personally, because I have been knocking on doors for quite some time and every door I knock on to seek work, has closed on me for various reasons. When this happens we normally get angry, at least I do. “Why God?” Isn’t that the very question we ask Him? And yet, like me wanting a better place for the robins, the Lord directed me to learn from them. When doors close, it may well be because God is protecting us from something we can’t see. He knows we’d be happier, safer, or better suited for something other than what our finite minds can comprehend.
Ephesians 3:20 says it well, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us“(Message). “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us”(NASB). God alone knows what our future holds and knows “how” to get us there. When we try with our self-efforts to push doors open, if it’s not good for us, God, out of Fatherly love, will shut the door! He’s not out to frustrate us or make us angry. He is for us and not against us. Yet so often we have to come to the end of our resources, the end of our own plans before we see what God is up to. His ways are so much better than our puny plans. He wants to bless our socks off when we are not looking for His blessing, but for our own plans to be realized.
Psalm 23 puts it this way, “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” God is wisdom and when we wait for the door He has for us to open, He gets all the glory and we get all the benefits! That’s not to say we sit on our duff and lazily expect God to serve us with grapes, but when we step aside from the plans that aren’t working for us and trust He has a much better place for us or person for us, or whatever you are looking for, then God’s magnificent power has a chance to work.
Now I can see many great trees for those robins to nest in and not on top of my front door, from where they will fall as soon as a wind comes along, or get disturbed every time we go in and out. I’m sure God is always chuckling at our little efforts, knowing He can do anything and everything above what we can even think to ask! But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God” Luke 18:27. So allow God room to open doors before you. Receive all His provision as you rest in His ability to do what’s best for you. Even praise Him for those doors that closed on your nose, because it was meant to protect you, even if you can’t see that right now. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Isaiah 22:22 confirms, “When he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open.” God knows your future and has it in His large, gentle hands. Trust Him with open and closed doors. Know that He wants the best for you and knows how to bring His best to pass in your life. And if the nest (open door) you keep trying to build (open) keeps on getting taken down (closing), look to Him for a much better nest (door)!