Doors and Broken Handles: Discerning Where God Wants Us to Go
March 8, 2018
How do we know when a door is really shut? How hard should we pull?
I drive a minivan during the winter in Chicagoland. Last week, on a sleet-filled day in the grocery parking lot, I pulled the sliding door handle. In dismay, I found that the door was frozen shut. This was the third time this month this had happened. So I tried harder. And harder. Finally, I gave it one last yank. Next thing I knew I was flat on my back with a broken door handle in my hand.
We have all experienced open and closed doors in our Christian life. But how do we know when a door is really shut? How hard should we pull?
Certainly, sometimes in my life I have wanted to give up on a closed door. I recall the difficulty at finding the first church after seminary at which I could serve. Months passed and I began to doubt my call to ministry because all the doors seemed shut. As I was passing for one of the last times besides the “opportunity board” at the seminary, I saw an advertisement from a church in Greece.
After all the closed doors, this one felt wide open. Once there, we felt God’s hand on the ministry as we served that church in Athens.
What do you look for in closed and open doors so that you don’t end up flat on your back with the handle in your hand? I think there are ways we can be sure that a door is shut or open.
First, remember that the call God has given us will likely require intensive perseverance.
Consider that everybody around William Carey questioned his desire to go to India as a pioneer missionary. In one ministry meeting those around him actually said, “Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine.” The minds of the resistant need to be carefully challenged, so Carey persevered by writing a book about the need …