All the signs were there. The “open doors”. The obvious connections. The chemistry.
I met someone (a man) at an event, and we immediately hit it off. We had known each other in a “previous” life — you know how the story goes…Reacquainted after the death of our spouses.
It was all there. The spiritual connection. The humor. The intellectual side. We had similar backgrounds. On and on it went.
I truly wasn’t interested in anything beyond yet, so I was enjoying all aspects of this new found friendship. Texting about our days. Sharing recipes (how funny is that?!). Meeting a few times for lunch. I was in the middle of trying to sell my home, move, downsize– in other words, I was very settled in this community.
So when the friendship came to a screeching halt because he decided to get married (to someone else!), I was, once again, angry at God. A little at the guy maybe. But God, because He seemed to open all these doors, but then didn’t let me walk through. Sounded like a Bible passage I remembered reading…
Remember the passage in Acts 16? Let me set the story up.
Paul and Silas were in jail. Beaten with rods, stripped, taken to the inner cell, feet fastened in stocks. Around midnight, they were praying and singing hymns with the other prisoners listening, when suddenly there was a terrible earthquake. The floors shook. the doors opened, and the chains fell off!
Let me just stop there a second and say something. We have been having some pretty controversial big earthquakes in Oklahoma over the past few years. I was awakened from sleep with the last big one. But I have never EVER had one knock doors open or make my bed come apart or my lamps fall from shelves. That would be one frightening earthquake.
So back to the prisoners. All their chains were broken. They were free. Paul and Silas had open doors. Were they praying for release? Was this their answer from God? They knew God had walked Peter out of jail. It could happen, they thought. God opens doors in crazy ways.
This time God opened doors and said, “Sit your bottoms down and don’t you move them.” At least that’s how I imagine Him saying it…
The jailer came running in to see, planning to kill himself because he knew they had all made a run for it. We know nothing about the other prisoners. Maybe some became followers of Paul and Silas from then on. We know one thing for certain. The jailer, poised to plunge the knife into his own neck, found all the prisoners sitting there accounted for. What kind of God would lead them to sit when the doors are open?
No one sits when the doors are open, do they? But sometimes God tells us to.
God brought the jailer to Paul and Silas and then turned around, bringing Paul and Silas to the jailer’s home.
“What must I do to be saved?”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!”
If Paul and Silas had said, “Here’s our answer to prayer! Open doors! Let’s go!” we don’t know that the jailer and his family would have been saved.
Sometimes God tells us to sit when the doors are open. Because He has another plan. A different plan. A unique plan. Just for me. Sometimes the open door makes so much more sense to our human minds. But God wants us to follow Him, even when it means to sit still.
Don’t look for open doors today. Listen to God. He might be nudging you to walk through or just sit still for a while longer.
Father God, thank You for guiding us and providing for us. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see the way You are leading us today. Let us sit still with patience when necessary and move with enthusiasm when You send us forward. Amen
Elizabeth Dyer lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, and a noisy cat named after a German race car driver! Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was–widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”
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