God just closed a door. That's because (A) He loves me, (B) He doesn't love me.
We posed that question yesterday, and the reader response on Facebook confirmed that many of us are dealing with confusing and frustrating "closed doors." Closed doors might make some of us wonder if God is really up to something good in our lives -- maybe He's judging us, or maybe He isn't even paying attention!
My Zondervan teammates and I can relate to those struggles, and we hope to encourage you. Below you'll find a couple of our personal stories that share how God has used closed doors to reveal his faithfulness and goodness to us. We pray that you will know God's loving presence in your struggle, too.
First, if you missed the Daily Inspiration email that kicked off this conversation, here's the excerpt from Max Lucado's God's Story, Your Story.
When God locks a door, it needs to be locked. When he blocks a path, it needs to be blocked. When he stuck Paul and Silas in prison, God had a plan for the prison jailer. As Paul and Silas sang, God shook the prison. "At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose" (Acts 16:26).
There God goes again, blasting open the most secure doors in town. When the jailer realized what had happened, he assumed all the prisoners had escaped. He drew his sword to take his life. When Paul told him otherwise, the jailer brought the two missionaries out and asked, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). Paul told him to believe. He did, and he and all his family were baptized. The jailer washed their wounds, and Jesus washed his sins. God shut the door of the jail cell so that he could open the heart of the jailer.
God uses closed doors to advance his cause.
Your blocked door doesn't mean God doesn't love you. Quite the opposite. It's proof that he does.
"Closed Door" Stories from the Zondervan Crew
First, Jonathan shares:
One of the first tangible "closed door" experiences in my adult life was when my wife miscarried our first child. We had been married less than a year, and it wasn't a planned pregnancy. The unexpected joy of the pregnancy was almost immediately contrasted with the shock of its loss. We were struck with life's big questions: Why does God bring these experiences into our lives? What's the purpose of pain? Why is life created, only to be snuffed out? Does God display his power over us occasionally, just to remind us who's boss?
Those kinds of questions can't be answered in a day or by the sing-songy clichés of a greeting card. Through the support of others, prayer, grieving, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, we were able to find rest in the truth that God does love us and the child we never got to meet. Pain and struggle in this world are the result of sin, but God is faithful to use even those experiences to bring us closer to him. Our hope was deferred for a moment. About a year later, we welcomed our second child, James, into the world.
Next, Jake's story gives us an eagle-eye perspective on twists and turns:
In 2006 I lost my manufacturing job of 10 years and found myself suddenly unemployed for the first time in my life.
I was able to go to school for two years funded entirely by government dislocated worker benefits and Montgomery GI Bill money because I’m a veteran.
I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Multimedia Communications Technology, but the economy was just beginning to fall apart and I couldn’t find a job in my new field.
I tried selling supplemental insurance but failed miserably.
I went back to work in another factory but was miserable.
I went to work in yet another factory and was quickly learning new skills. I applied myself to my job and held on to the hope that, though I didn’t want to work in a factory forever, I could really advance in this place. Then the auto industry tanked and I was laid off right before Thanksgiving 2008.
I immediately went to my job counselor and sought other work through their agency. A new temporary position opened up in Multimedia Communications Technology at a local company. It was only supposed to last four months. Nearly three years later I am managing all of this company’s digital production operations and have never been happier in my life.
Share Your "Closed Door" Story
Leave a comment on this post sharing how God has used closed doors to show His care for you.
Learn More about God's Story, Your Story
Learn more about Max Lucado's new book God's Story, Your Story
(-Adam Forrest, Zondervan Internet Team. This post does not represent the views of Zondervan or any of its partners and representatives. The writer's opinions are his own, and he's sharing them for information only.)