And at the same time pray for us also, that God may open a door to us for the Word (the Gospel), to proclaim the mystery concerning Christ (the Messiah) on account of which I am in prison. Colossians 4:3 (AMP)
I’ve heard the saying that goes “When God closes one door, he opens another one.” Or “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”
I didn’t realize that this imagery was in the Bible, but I came across it in this verse.
I can’t help but visualize a scene from the movie Monsters, Inc. where there were seemingly hundreds upon hundreds of doors, all different and all destined for a child’s room with monsters ready to spring from behind them.
One little girl, though, wasn’t afraid of the monsters at all. Turns out they were afraid of her. She didn’t mind the door opening. To this toddler, it meant an adventure, something new to experience.
All of this door talk is scary, no matter how you look at it. A door closing can be a very traumatic thing. I can get really attached to a door (and what it represents). When a favored door starts creaking shut, I’ll fight to hold it open until the bitter end. And at times, I am very bitter for a long while.
But then there are the doors that are slowing swinging open. Oh, no! I don’t want that, either! It’s scary and dark in there. I don’t recognize anything, and I’m sure I won’t be able to get a handle on it before others start their comments on my obvious discomfort.
Why do I continue to go round and round in circles? It seems as though I’m never content with the doors as they open and close. Even when I feel relief as a problem door finally closes, I have a vague notion of defeat. “You could have handled that better,” I hear whispered in my ear. “It didn’t have to end. Why did you let it?”
The evil one really knows how to stretch it out, doesn’t he? I was a court reporter for 7 years after going to school for 2 years, so I had 9 years wrapped up in it. The whole thing, the whole 9 years, was a nightmare for me. Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong in about seven different ways. I begged God to deliver me from this horrible situation.
And He did! That was 17 years ago. I praise Him for it! I praise Him because He loves me and takes care of me. But I also still feel a bit of regret. I really should have done it better.
To know that I was trying so hard that I ended up with stroke-level blood pressure that could have killed me doesn’t help. To know that I really, really did my best doesn’t help. To know that God has used that experience in countless ways for His glory doesn’t help. The regret is still there. I’m still listening to the whispers.
I really admire Paul. In the verse above, he is praying for a door to open so that he can preach the Gospel, even though that’s precisely why he’s in prison. He had had every single door in his life slammed shut as he collapsed under the power of Christ Jesus on the road to Damascus. But, oh, what a door that was opened to him!
That I may proclaim it fully and make it clear [speak boldly and unfold that mystery], as is my duty. Colossians 4:4 (AMP)
Can the rest of us do any less?