Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Door Will Open When It Is Time

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
(NIV)


My dear husband uttered those words recently as he and I were talking with a sister in Christ about the uncertain place in which we now find ourselves.

As I listened to Kevin's words, my heart went out to him.
I knew those words were heart wrenched and coming from a place of concern over what lies ahead of us.
Not that any of us ever know what the future holds, but I can't remember a time when ours has ever looked so uncertain and unknown.

After the above conversation, I was walking into a grocery store, and I noticed that I was getting uncomfortably close to the automatic glass front door, and it still wasn't opening.  In my impatience, I began to wonder if the store was closed or if the door was operational.  Just as it looked like I would crash headlong into the closed door, it opened, almost as if it had been on some sort of delay.  Whatever the mechanical explanation for the unusual hesitation, I soon knew that the real reason it occurred was that the precious Holy Spirit was providing an object lesson to build on Kevin's words that were still fresh in my mind.

As I walked along, the still, small voice of our Lord began to whisper,
"Child, the door did not need to open until you got to it."

I realized that if the door had opened before my next step, it would have served no purpose to me.
I couldn't walk through it until I got there, anyway.

In my desire for things to be all neatly laid out in front of me with no hiccups or hesitations or plan alterations, I wanted that door to be standing wide open far before it actually needed to.  Even though I was not close enough to walk through it, I wanted to know that it was open.

Silly me.  I am always trying to figure out God's mind, trying to contemplate not just His next step, but next several steps in front of me.  I want a flashlight to shine up around the next bend in the road, up the staircase in front of me—I want to see the door and know that it is open and that I will have no problem walking through it.

Silly me, indeed.  I should know by now that God does not work the way I think He should.  As high as the heavens are above the earth, so far apart are His thoughts and mine.  (Isaiah 55:8,9)  I cannot put Him into a box or neatly-wrapped package that will suit my preferences.  Why would He open a door when we are not even close enough to walk through it yet?  What good would that do?  God has His own timetable, and His plans stretch from the beginning to the end of our lives.
God is in control of the doors in each one of our lives.  He sees every door in our future.

"And the key of the house of David will I lay upon His shoulder; so He shall open, and none shall shut, and He shall shut, and none shall open."  Isaiah 22:22

"These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."  Revelation 3:7,8

God determines whether or not a door should open or close, and if it is a door we are to walk through, He decides WHEN that door needs to open.
He directs our steps leading up to that door, and when we catch up with Him and get there, He is the only One who can open it.

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD."  Psalm 37:23

"For we live by faith, not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5:7  (NIV)

If we saw everything ahead of us and knew how and when God would provide and take care of us, why would we need faith?

For as long back as I can remember, we sang the song, "Living By Faith" in church.
I sang it right along with everyone else, but I don't think I have ever really understood what it truly means until now.  I wanted to share the words here today for anyone who may find themselves in an unfamiliar place with safety nets removed and no visible plan or open door ahead of them.
This, my friend, is what living by faith really means.
May the dear Lord encourage the heart of each person who reads this.
I am praying for you now.

Living By Faith
James Wells (verses 1,2,&3 & Chorus)
Robert E. Winsett (Verse 4)

I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.

Refrain:
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.

Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.

I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.

Our Lord will return for His loved ones someday,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.

22 comments:

  1. Cheryl this is a wonderful “reminder” post for me. I’m sorry that you and Kevin are faced with such uncertainty, but your faith in our loving God is inspirational to many of us. I am a worrier. Just ask any of my family or friends. Daily I try to lay them at the cross and trust in God for His wisdom and care. Too often I try to lift it back to my shoulders, because I can’t see where He is working. My prayers are with you and your sweet family as you wait for the door to open.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, bless your dear heart, sweet friend. I am so thankful for your kind words and your prayers mean SO much to us. God help us to stay in the center of His perfect will and stay low before Him. I surely understand your worrying. I fight the same, exact battle and think I am gaining some victory only to pick up the cares I have cast on Him and start trying to carry them alone again. May Jesus bless you and reward you for your faithful support and kindness. I love and appreciate you.

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  2. Hi My Dear Friend, Oh How precious..I sometime feel no one understands when I feel so afraid of tomorrow..My life is so uncertain each day..The legs I have to travel on get real shaky. I feel like a little toddler learning to walk at times..Then I read this and know I am not walking this road alone.Your message was so needed by Me today..As the storms rolls around Us and life seems so fearful and as we wait for the hardest part of storm to hit and I weep so often I know you are there to help many make a few more steps toward Home.God bless you and yours and thank you for all the blessings you bring to others..Today My Husband and I was trying hard to get last minute things done to prepare for the storm and the wind was getting real strong the rain coming down..I said Jesus we are trying please hold back the storm and Jesus I would love to see the sun again..All of a sudden the wind died down it got bright and I looked up and the sun was shining so pretty.I said Randy look the sun..He said where did that come from I said God just answered my prayers and I love Him so much..It is now pretty stormy..Keep Us in prayer..Again THANKS for your wonderful words of wisdom..God give you a BIG hug today..Love Loads,Elaine

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    1. Oh, dear friend! I DO understand your fear. I have thought of you during this storm and am SO hoping all is well with you. I trust you had no impact from the storm and you are doing okay. That is just wonderful how the dear Lord answered prayer for you when you were preparing for the storm. Thank you so much for sharing that here. Sending much love and many hugs back to you and hoping to hear from you when you can to know how you made it through the storm. God bless you and hold you close always.

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  3. Dear friend, your message stirred in my heart and soul. At our first Bible class this last Wednesday at my church the minister spoke of God's providence. He called it the protective care of God and said "God will always provide" and that is certainly true. God will provide for our needs in his time and when we need it - perhaps not sooner than we want it but certainly when we need it. Take care.

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful message your pastor brought. Protective care ~ what a blessed thought to think that our dear Lord is holding us in His hand, and He will provide for us! Like you said, it is in HIS time, not ours. Sending love and hugs your way and SO grateful for your prayers and support.

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  4. It can be so difficult sometimes to "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him..." My family has gone through those uncertain times more than once when we were preparing to move and waiting for our house to sell. My husband and I are in a position of seeking the Lord's will for us as well about some things regarding our future, and just waiting for the right time is challenging for me sometimes, as I would just like to "get it over with" and be on with the next thing.

    Your encouraging post reminded me also of this poem - the last stanza in particular.

    A Thanksgiving

    For all Thy blessings given there are many to thank Thee, Lord,
    But for the gifts withholden I fain would add my word.

    For good things I desired that barred me from the best,
    The peace at the price of honour, the sloth of a shameful rest;

    The poisonous sweets I longed for to my hungering heart denied,
    The staff that broke and failed me when I walked in the way of pride;

    The tinsel joys withheld that so content might still be mine,
    The help refused that might have made me loose my hand from Thine;

    The light withdrawn that I might not see the dangers of my way;
    For what Thou hast not given, I thank Thee, Lord today.

    Annie Johnson Flint

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    1. Dear Mary! Thank you SO much for sharing this amazing poem and kind comment!! Oh, my, Annie's words resonated deep in my spirit as I read them today. Dear Lord, help me to rest in Your arms and wait for You to move. I am so grateful for this and can't thank you enough for sharing it. Sending love and hugs your way and trusting God to help you and your husband to know the right way to go at this uncertain time.

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  5. Oh man... my heart is with you and your family. Sorry you're going through it, although we know that our Father has us in His hands. You will be safe and stronger on the other side of this tribulation.

    I'm praying for you and yours.

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    1. Oh, Floyd! Your words were such a great comfort to me today. To think that we will be safe and stronger on the other side ~ there are no words to tell you what that means to me. Thank you so much for your prayers and faithful words and friendship. May God bless you in a huge way, brother. Thank you.

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  6. Sister, this may be the most wonderful thing that I've seen you post. Such wisdom! Such an open heart seeking the LORD and His will. Perfect timing for me, too. Hugs to you! We shall walk and not be afraid for the Lord our God is with us wherever we go.
    Your friend,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. Amen, and amen, sweet friend! Your words were a great blessing and comfort to my heart today. Thank you so much, and may the dear Lord be with you in your battles, too. He is SO faithful. LOVE the verse you quoted. Sending much love to you, dear sister, and praying for you.

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  7. Boy, wouldn't it be awesome to be able to follow that advice that we are so willing to dish out to others? I have done exactly what you did regarding those electric doors....sometimes it seemed I was going to walk right in to glass and just like that, at just the right time, the doors opened! This is such a great example you used to describe how we so often don't trust the Lord's timing. You know that I am right there with you when it come to the uncertainty of our future. Such a great post, my friend!

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    1. Yes, sweet friend, we surely can understand each other's paths. Uncertainty is SO hard. I know God has all of us in the palm of His precious, nail-scarred hand, but I so often forget that I need to just rest in that and not keep trying to figure things out. His mind is so far above and more advanced than mine, and He is surely in control. So very thankful for your sweet visit and kind words. Sending love and hugs to you. :)

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  8. What a wise man your Kevin is! I loved reading his words, and also your wonderful words that you've shared with us. Yes, God is certainly in control of all those doors. Sometimes we want to be in charge, don't' we? Well, at least, I know that I do!! However, Our Lord and Savior knows what is best for us, and in His time. I'm praying for you and your family, my friend.

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    1. Yes, my friend, Kevin is truly one of the wisest, most even-keeled people I have ever known. How very blessed and humbled I am that God ever brought him to me and allows me to walk through life hand-in-hand with him. Oh, we surely do want to be in charge, but God often shows us that we are not, doesn't He? So thankful for you and your encouraging presence in my life and especially your faithful prayers. I am praying for you, too, and sending hugs your way!

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  9. What a precious reminder today dear Cheryl. I am praying right now for you and Kevin dear friend. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Oh, how kind and dear you are, my friend! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers! You are such a dear blessing to me, and I appreciate you so much. Sending love and hugs your way!

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  10. Sweet dear Cheryl! Amazing words from your husband... so very true indeed. God knows the end from the beginning, nothing in our lives is a surprise to HIM, and it is comforting to know that above all, His ways will be best, in the end. Sometimes it is so hard to understand with all the "whys" in our lives, but then again, I guess that is where faith and trust do come in! And so true, just like you wondered if the glass door was going to open, many times we feel that way... but He does always come through, right on time. We certainly live a life of adventure as we walk with the Lord! Praying that the sweet presence of the Lord will be with your family's heart in a beautiful way, so that you may rest assured and confident in the path the Lord has you on. Your sweet family is always in our prayers! Much love and hugs to you sweet friend :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers, kind words, and encouragement, sweet friend. I am so grateful for your presence in my life and trust the Lord will bless you abundantly. Much love and many hugs back to you!

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  11. Oh Cheryl!! I love the insight the Lord placed on your heart through Kevin's words and your experience with the door! As I was reading your post, I started picturing myself approaching a door that was closed and then suddenly see it opening only to see Jesus' arm extending as the door opened wider and wider bidding me to "come in dear child". Oh what encouragement that gave me for the uncertain areas in my life.

    And I absolutely loved that hymn!! I read the lyrics twice through and then I listened to it! Such a catchy tune, and one that I think needs to be my anthem these days!

    Thanks so much for sharing and your faithful testimony of all that the Lord is doing for you and your family.

    Oh He is indeed well pleased!

    Sending you much love!

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    1. OH, what a beautiful vision the Lord gave you as you were reading this, sweet friend! It brought such comfort to my heart, too. YES, that song surely is a wonderful anthem to have and such words to live by. I was so blessed and assured by your precious words, "Oh He is indeed well pleased!" That is the desire and cry of my heart ~ I so want to please Him. He has been so faithful and good to me. Sending much love back to you!

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