Do you ever pray for God to close a door he doesn’t want you to walk through? Then God closes it, and you find yourself in utter shock. How could He do such a thing?! It leaves you at a crossroad – will I trust the Lord or will I attempt to pry open the door?
Maybe sometimes you nod your head in agreement and thank God for answering your prayer. On other occasions you wonder, what in the world is God thinking, and you quickly forget your original prayer.
I remember, once in the middle of our family’s journey with mental illness we were in a desperate search for a facility where our loved one could receive proper care. We had teams of people trying to locate the perfect place. Paperwork was submitted, and we traveled the nation visiting numerous sites.
Waiting is Hard
We waited for our phones to ring with good news, but over and over again, the answer came back “NO, we can not take your loved one.”
My continued prayers were, Please God, open a door and close those doors I should not walk through.
Then I found the perfect placement. I prayed to God, “Please let this be where you want our healing to happen. However, if it is not the right place – slam the door closed.
To my dismay, my carefully planned design was not part of God’s plan.
When You Can’t Pry the Door Open
God slammed that door so tight it wouldn’t budge. But believe it or not, I didn’t stop there.
No – was unacceptable! Surely God had gotten it wrong.
Surely, he didn’t see all the plusses for this placement. I was determined to show both God and the people on the other end of the phone, why no was not the right response.
I dug my heels in and refused to listen to God’s answer. With all my mite, I was certain the door could be pried open.
I lifted up the phone and did what any desperate person might do – I begged, pleaded, and insisted for the director to reconsider. She finally offered a second review. However, we were told to wait for a call.
Ignoring Gods Answer
Sometimes persistence pays off – but remember I had asked God to close the door if it wasn’t the one we were to walk through.
Growing tired of waiting, I decided to take things into my own hands. Again, I phoned the director and notified her I could be there soon for a tour.
The director became stern and said, “Maree do NOT come to visit, the answer is “NO.” “Our door is closed.”
When it Seems Unfair
My exasperation hit an all-time high, “Why can’t we get a break?” “We are good people and suffering so.” “Why do we have to keep waiting?”
This placement was the last hope I could see on the horizon.
So, I sat by my phone in that lonely hotel room trying to will my phone to ring with an answer of “Yes, we would love to have your loved one.”
Have you ever waited for hours on end for a call? It is torture of its own kind.
Admittedly, I didn’t wait well on that particular day nor did I put my full trust in God. A few times my phone even flew across the room as other “No’s” came in.
Deep down in my soul, I knew God would take care of us, but I couldn’t wrap my emotions around it.
Wait for the Lord
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
In Our Wait, God is Working
We won’t always wait well, and when we don’t, we miss out on God’s peace that transcends all understanding. Thank goodness God is bigger than our attitude or disbelief.
God is still working even when we get in the way.
We all wait for something at some point in our lives. I don’t know what you are waiting for, maybe it is healing, a doctor to call back, or a relationship to be restored. I pray you will put your trust in the Lord and seek his peace even if it makes no sense at the time.
Has God ever closed a door in your life and you tried to pry it open?
This post is a revised version of what originally appeared on Embracing the Unexpected.