Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Closed Doors

With skillful hands He led them. Psalm 78:72
When you are unsure which course to take, totally submit your own judgment to that of the Spirit of God, asking Him to shut every door except the right one. But meanwhile keep moving ahead and consider the absence of a direct indication from God to be the evidence of His will that you are on His path. And as you continue down the long road, you will find that He has gone before you, locking doors you otherwise would have been inclined to enter. Yet you can be sure that somewhere beyond the locked doors is one He has left unlocked. And when you open it and walk through, you will find yourself face to face with a turn in the river of opportunity--one that is broader and deeper than anything you ever dared to imagine, even in your wildest dreams. F. B. Meyer

How my heart leapt to read the above passage in my daily devotional a couple of weeks ago, as I made ready to travel to Colorado to visit my publishing house, still pinching myself that this was really happening, that I had finally found that door left unlocked for me (I knocked on doors for twenty years before I found that 'one He has left unlocked.').

I look back now with thankfulness that the publishing doors I lingered overlong at, and those I occasionally tried to pry open, remained locked to me. For the past several years my prayer has been, "Lord, I'll just keep writing, and knocking, and trust You to shut every door You don't want me to go through. You can see what's on the other side. I can't. You know the right door, and the perfect time for me to reach it. Open and close them as You will."

"Thy will be done." In the words of Father Tim (At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon), that's "The prayer that never fails."

* * *

~ photo by Exothermic courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

15 comments:

  1. Wow! That's powerful, Lori. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blessing, Zan Marie! It's from Streams in the Desert, a devotional that's been around for a long long time, but which I'm only getting around to reading through this year. Kind of wish I hadn't let it sit in my TBR pile so long. :)

      Delete
    2. I got Streams in the Desert this July after you mentioned it. It's a keeper alright. Have you ever read My Utmost for His Highest by Chambers? It's a good one, too.

      Delete
    3. That one's in my TBR pile. Another classic I've long meant to read.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this timely devotional, Lori. I've been journeying that road for over twenty-five years hoping to find that open door. Yesterday another door closed. I rejoice with you as you now can travel through the door that has opened for you. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, those closed doors are disappointing in the moment, aren't they? There's no denying that. I think the hardest point I reached in the twenty years it took for a publishing door to open was to find peace with the idea that perhaps God had no plan to open any publishing door for me at all. Ever. In fact there was a time I had to come to peace with the possibility that I might never even write again (because of chemo fog I went through a 4-5 year non-writing period). Those were two difficult but oh so freeing pauses on this life's journey. Now, whenever I get too caught up in looking for doors to open (and there are still plenty of doors to look at with hopeful gazes) I can dial back to those moments; if I clear out all the clutter of anxiety and impatience, I still have that peace of knowing the writing itself is purpose enough to last me the rest of my days, leaving what comes of it in God's hands. I can remember verbalizing what I felt the Lord leading. "I'll just keep writing the novels that stir my soul to tell, and while I'm at it I'll knock on doors. Maybe one will open, maybe not. But it won't hurt to knock because I've asked the Lord not to open any door that isn't His best for me."

      Blessings to you, too, on your writing journey! I bet 25 years has taught you these truths and more. When and if it's His best for you, that right door will open.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Lori. I've learned so much about writing and myself in the journey. I agree, it's all in God's hands and in His timing, and whatever the outcome, all is well.

      Delete
  3. Lori,

    Beautifully shared - thank you. It's so hard to walk away from a door when I'm so sure its one I want/need to enter. I'm so glad GOD has such a broader scope of things than I do!

    Blessings,
    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful post--I used "Streams..." for 5 yrs as my devo/diary for 5 yrs once. Enlightening and God breathed to be sure. Love those open--and closed--doors---and YOU! Keep on, dear one--keep on!

    ReplyDelete
  5. "I still have that peace of knowing the writing itself is purpose enough to last me the rest of my days, leaving what comes of it in God's hands."

    The QUESTION (of continuing to write) came up again for me today, and I decided to stop in to your blog because I find so much peace here. (a lurker saying hello & to pray silently for you)

    ....And I was quietly overwhelmed at God's answer through you!

    I've also been writing for almost twenty years, but have been struggling with a lot on my plate recently. Thanks so much for these words of encouragement, Lori.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Becky, so true. And Amen!

    Patti, Streams has touched and comforted so many. I can't count how many different people recommended it to me before I finally started reading it each day. Love you too. It was so good to see you this past weekend!

    Awesome Pat. I'm so happy this spoke to you right when you needed it. Can't count how often that's happened to me, just surfing about my usual haunts (where I mostly lurk too). Thank you for your prayers for me, and you have mine. Praying God gives you that peace and direction for right now. It's never easy facing that particular question. I'm sure I'll need to dial back and remind myself of these things again and again on this journey. Just for different reasons. That's one of the reasons I blog about them, so I'll have my words right here to remind myself if ever I forget. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lori, What a great devotion and fantastic commentary. It's so easy to give up when you hit those closed doors, forgetting God is just guiding you down the darkened hallway to the open door.
      Congratulations on the soon to be publication of your book. I look forward to reading it. And though we have never met, I feel like I know you and celebrate with you!!! This is so awesome!
      It's so encouraging to "keep going".
      By the way I love your reading logs, of the books you've read, I thought I was doing good, with about 24 books a year, but sister, you have shown me to keep going. I'm now keeping one of my own. And encouraging my family to do so, oh the discussions we are having! Congratulations, again.
      Becky

      Delete
    2. Thanks for celebrating with me, Becky!

      It's been fun keeping a reading log that past few years. I never knew I read SO much, but listing them like this makes me push ahead a little faster. I confess it makes me happy to add another title every few days or so. And I'd never read all those novels if it wasn't for audio books in the car, or while I'm doing housework or (more likely) baking or fixing dinner. I've downloaded Kindle on my laptop, too, and read off that while I'm riding the bike each day, morning, noon, and evening. That's so cool you are encouraging your family to keep a book log. I think that's a great idea!

      Delete
  7. Lori, it's so easy to just CHUCK it all and think it just wasn't meant to be. We all have seasons, don't we? I've been in an "off" season, writing-wise, but that desire, that passion, is still there - I'm just waiting for God to give me the green light again! Thanks so much for sharing today!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regina, I remember during those years I couldn't write (my major "off" season) I asked God to take the passion for it away. He didn't, which was one of the reasons I knew He meant for me to give it one more try, back in 2004. I'm very glad now I did, though it was a tough road back those first couple of years. Hoping you get that green light soon, but it will be in His perfect time.

      Delete