A friend recently posted on her Facebook page that when God is making your path straight, He may cut off access to the other paths we are not meant to be taking. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, since I read it this morning.
We’ve all heard that cliche quote “When God closes a door, He opens a window”. This almost implies a certainty that the Lord isn’t going to shut the door to an opportunity without giving you an better one… and that it’s going to be obvious. Closed door, open window.
When I think of that illustration, I don’t think of opportunity. I think of escape. We escape out of windows, we don’t just willy nilly walk through them. They are not intended as an entrance and exit to a building. No one would approve a building made up of entirely windows. You can’t even get approval on a building or home with just one door and only windows. There is a requirement for second door. If you tell me to climb through the window, you are telling me that I am escaping… or in the terms of a teenager sneaking away.
You could argue that I am stuck on semantics, and that it implies the same meaning as saying “Where God closes one door, He’ll open another.” Even there, there is an implication that God will not close one door without giving you an obvious exit. I have another friend who insists that God will not call you from something until He is ready to call you to something else.
As I ponder these opinions, I realize my issue wasn’t with the details of the illustration itself. Semantics or not. Rather, my issue is that these cliche quotes and ideas of always having an open door neglects the times that the Lord calls us into a season of the wandering in the wilderness. In the OT story of the Israelites wandering the desert, we know that their destination was not immediately revealed to them. Yes, they knew that they were aiming for something; but they had no idea of when or where that would unfold. They just kept walking. Trusting. And complaining a bit too.
I think that is why my friend’s words this morning were rooted into my thoughts, because this illustration seems so much more realistic. That the Lord may close a door, may close off pathways we were not meant tread upon… because He is carving a path before us. The other doorway may not be open yet, it may not even be visible yet. By faith, I keep walking. One step at a time. The old door fading in the distance.
Perhaps there are times where God closes the door, and puts us on a journey that separates us from the old because He is preparing us for the new. There may be times in our lives that we need to be severed, where our roots are pruned. A new home is waiting for us, but in this moment we must wait.
I purchased some cuttings from a beautiful tree to plant at my home. When they arrived, there was not a root to be seen. You see, when you sell cuttings off of this tree… first you cut or break off the parts that you intend to grow into new trees. Then you let them sit, not in any soil… nor are they watered. You let them dry for a period of time, before you replant or ship them. My instructions were then to take these dried up sticks and put them in small pots of regular dirt. No fertilizer, no water, no direct sun. I was to basically ignore them until I began to see leaves opening up from the top. Only then could I put them into a larger pot and begin to care for them.
I was not neglecting these plants, but actually giving them the space to they needed to form new roots. NEW ROOTS.
I believe there are times where the Lord will pull you from one thing without giving you a new place to go… at least not right away. Why? Because, He is giving you new roots… roots that are formed IN HIM only. Not the place you serve, the ministry you lead, etc. Instead, you are pulled out of everything that is familiar and put into His hands. He is going to ready you in this time for whatever it is He has in store for your future.
Some roots need to be severed.
Sometimes we need new roots.
Sometimes there are no open doors.
We know that we can’t go back from where we came, but until the Lord is ready to reveal the path He is foraging… we may need to spend sometime in the waiting room. Instead of running around trying to find out which door is unlocked, which window to escape from… we need to sit and wait. Then in His timing, a door will open, and you will hear a voice that says “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isa 30:21)