Priscilla invited me to walk with her yesterday afternoon – an unusual time for us to trek around our country neighborhoods, but she was free and I was tired of sitting on my rear in my home office – so I said “yes!”
Pushing little Jude in his jogger, Priscilla works harder than me on our walks, yet somehow, I’m always the one sweating and feeling winded. But that’s beside the point. It’s good for me, right?
We made our three mile loop through the wooded streets, up and down hills, really feeling the muggy 90 degree heat. Finally, we made it into the home stretch. Whoo, my knees were starting to hurt, but like trail horses heading for the barn, we picked up the pace. I could already imagine how good a cool shower was going to feel.
Then, a problem.
An electric gate at the exit of one of the neighborhoods we trek through was closed. We were stuck, trapped by a fence and that enormous gate. And the realization that the only way home was to retrace our steps – almost doubling our distance – sank in.
I suddenly felt very thirsty. Jude started crying – and if I hadn’t been trying to impress Priscilla with my perseverance in the face of an obstacle, I would have too. 🙂
So we did the only thing we could do: we turned around and began the long walk home – just the way we came. In the end, we got extra mileage in (I need all the extra mileage I can get), and had a great time talking. Jude got to throw some rocks into a creek. We made the best of it, in spite of the disappointment over that closed gate.
I wonder if you are facing a closed gate in your life today? Like maybe the road ahead that seemed so sure, so open, and then – BAM! A door was closed right in front of you?
When facing a closed gate, God often gives us options:
1. Wait – perhaps the timing for that gate to open is not yet here – Psalm 27:14
2. Turn around – God is changing our direction – Acts 16:6-10
3. Go through – storm the gates through prayer, seek help from fellow believers, look for other openings – Matt. 11:12
God is always faithful. Whenever you face a closed door, it may be an opportunity for one of these solutions to come into play…and watch! Somehow God will use the situation to bring about maturity and deepening faith in Him.
Romans 12:2 says this: So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)
Maybe your closed gate is God’s opportunity!
Have you ever faced a closed gate? How did you deal with it? Which “option” did God bring into play?