During lockdown I became obsessed by doors. I watched the neighbours opposite change the colour of their front door. One picked a violet colour - alright on a jumper but a bit bizarre on a front door. However, the other one picked a kind of mustard colour which I could only describe as the colour of a small baby’s nappy. You get the picture!
We were all stuck behind our front doors with the government’s ‘stay at home’ message. The door became both our protection against the outside world, where everything inside felt safe, but also our entrance out into society and life again.
Have you felt a door closing in your life recently? Has something come to an end?
Are there times in your life when things haven’t worked out the way you thought they would?
Does it feel like a door is shut in your face? Does it feel now like there is no way ahead?
People often say that when God shuts a door, he opens a window. This is absolute rubbish! Would God make a very difficult way into a house? I mean, if the door is shut, why doesn’t he just open another door? Why is it we have to wriggle through a window? And if we have double glazing, how do we negotiate that? And if it’s an upstairs window, does God also give us a ladder?
I realise that this is a metaphor but if you think about it, it may describe the way you feel when life seems to shut down. Perhaps you have experienced that this last year during the pandemic.
In Genesis we see a picture of a garden, Eden, a place of peace and where everything that was needed for life, existed. God would walk in the garden with Adam in the cool of the day. Adam and Eve did the one wrong thing that they were told not to do, and a gate/door was placed at the entrance to their paradise and there was no way back.
That door was firmly shut and it takes the rest of the Bible for us to find our way back to the garden.
Take a look at a following verses from the Bible that talk about doors in different ways. Give some time to think about the way exits and entrances are used to show God’s faithfulness and His plan for us and all creation.
God shut the door of the ark to keep Noah safe.
In Exodus 2:22 God passed over the doors of the Israelites, but not over the doors of the Egyptians.
Psalm 78:23-26 says:
Yet he gave a command to the skies above
and opened the doors of the heavens;
he rained down manna for the people to eat,
he gave them the grain of heaven.
We are beginning to build a picture of God looking after people and providing a way back to Himself. This is further strengthened in Psalm 24. Here, the Bible speaks of the doors being flung open for Jesus to enter and he has opened the way for us, just as the blood on the doors saved the Israelites. The way back to God is wide open through Jesus!
Read the wisdom of Proverbs here and think about what this means:
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
and receive favour from the Lord. (Proverbs 8:33-34)
If we move to the New Testament and think about the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were hiding behind closed doors but it was no barrier to the work of God through His Holy Spirit. During our enforced stay-at-home message, has God been with you working through His Holy Spirit behind your door? What are you going to do now with what you may have learnt?
In Revelation, look where we all end up:
See I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. (Revelation 3:8)
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelation 3:20)
- Jill Jackson