It’s 2:32pm and my 2.5 year old son, Lazarus, should’ve taken a nap hours ago. I’m currently trying to get him to take one now, and it is a complete train wreck.
He’s over-tired and he’s not happy about my inconveniencing him for his much needed rest. Here’s the kicker. I am bigger, I am wiser, I am his parent. I know what’s best.
I know that he needs the rest.
But all my little Laz can see is a shut ‘door’ (baby gate). He thinks that he is alone even though I’m right on the other side. He thinks he is being punished even though it is really for his good. How many can relate?
So he cries and beats at the door. Or he plays with toys at the door, waiting for it to open. I go in there periodically to lay him back down and tell him, “Everything is okay, but you have to go to sleep”. Within minutes he has forgotten my comfort and runs right back to that shut door, wanting out. It’s a constant cycle until he finally gives into the sleep that I knew he needed all along.
The shut door.
How many of us have cried out to the Father, asking for something over and over and it just isn’t happening? That relationship you wanted to be restored. That opportunity you wanted so badly to work out. You cut and squeezed everything else in your life just to get it to fit..and then it still never truly did. Infact, you have to put your true identity aside, you have to sacrifice your peace, you have to pretend like it’s all good when it’s really not, all in order for this shut door to work in your life.
The door was shut and still you beat on it, screaming for Daddy to open it.
What if that restored relationship was hindering you from forward movement in Christ? What if that circumstance was stopping you from fulfilling your true purpose in building God’s kingdom? What if that opportunity would have pushed away the relationships and resources that God wanted for not only you to flourish but for others to come towards salvation through as well? We don’t know the details of why things don’t happen or why they do. All we know is what the truth is through God’s word.
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”- (Romans 8:15-17 NKJV)
Let’s dissect that.
When we believe that Jesus is Lord, the spirit of bondage to fear and other dark emotions is no longer able to hold us captive. The door might be shut but we don’t have to be afraid about what that means. We don’t have to be anxious about the unknown waiting through that new door that just opened. We can cry out to God about our shut door but we don’t have to be afraid that we’ve been forgotten or neglected. And we can know that to be true because of the second part to verse 15:
” but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.‘”-(Romans 8:15)
We are now children of God. He’s our parent. He’s our Daddy. He knows what’s best. He knows when we need rest. He knows when we have some things wearing us down and He knows what it will take for us to finally give them up. He’s on the other side of that door and it is shut for a reason.
There is always another door open somewhere, and it’s the narrow doorway that we don’t necessarily want to go through. Just like these conversations I have with my sleepy 2.5 year old.
The door is shut. Choose to obey and follow God’s voice through it.
Obedience can be painful to the flesh. The answer may not be, “no” because whatever you’re asking for is harmful, but maybe there is something for you to learn through accepting the, “no”.
Maybe the closed door will cause you to look within and see some things you need God to work on.
Anger from not getting your way. Bitterness from not being in control. Doubt from having graven images whose expectations could never be met. There’s always a narrow road, a heart issue that can be revealed and healed through the acceptance of a closed door. Search for it. Repent for it, and let the Lord shine His healing light on it.
Closed doors allow us to see the sins that have been wearing us down and we can finally allow Jesus to take them from us, giving us true rest!
Think about verse 15…If we are children of God then we are no longer bound to and led by fleshly emotions like fear, anger, or anxiety. If we choose to by guided by these feelings, then we find ourselves stuck, beating at a closed door, and walking in circles .
Until we are wholly surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit of God we will not move forward. So what does that look like?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”-(Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV)
Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Accept the shut door and look for the narrow pathway! You can do this! I only know because I am currently undergoing this learning process as well. He’s a good Dad, let Him be that for you.