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.