BEYOND THE OPEN DOOR
It is an indescribable feeling when you walk through doors that only the Spirit can open. When God nudges you into an opportunity, He’s the one who knows every cell of your body and what you are equipped and not equipped to do. He has a vested interest in the success of your mission.
Growing older is not necessarily a fun endeavor, but the silver lining is that you continue to see the faithfulness of God in times when He has ordered your steps. Young people have a lesser awareness of their own mortality while at the same time a growing fear of how their life will turn out. I’ve found that formula changes over time, with a greater awareness of mortality and a security in divine direction.
On a recent plane ride, I fretted over the shrinking time of a connection. There was no way I’d make it from my gate to another. It was the last flight of the evening and I was preparing myself for the sad reality of being stranded in that city. Soon, however, I was elated to discover that the plane I was on was headed for my final destination.
The pilot said I’d have to deplane and board again. I joked, “When I walk off this airplane, you’re not going to close the door on me and take off, are you?” God is not going to shut the door on you and leave you to face the unknown by yourself. He is preparing you for whatever you encounter and preparing whatever you encounter for your arrival. You may go where “no man has ever gone before,” but you will never go anywhere God hasn’t been or even designed. In my years of travel, I prefer having an itinerary, an hour-by-hour schedule of where we’re going, and what we’re doing. We expect that with God’s direction. We don’t want to see the next step, we want to see two steps ahead and the big picture. But where’s the fun in that? More importantly, where’s the trust?
You don’t really want to know what’s two steps ahead, because you are still being molded into the person designed for that moment. When someone first mentioned the possibility of being the White Wing Messenger editor to me, I laughed. I didn’t laugh because I thought it was a joke or because I didn’t want it. I laughed because I could not see myself in that role. I did not know what God was doing to prepare me for it, and maybe even preparing this assignment for me. In recent years, I’ve been surprised on a regular basis by the doors God has opened. One time, I walked through a scene right out of a postcard and texted my wife, “What am I doing here?”
Where do you see yourself in five years? I’ve learned to relax with that question. Business gurus might balk at not having a step-by-step five-year plan, but I know the Man who holds the itinerary. I want to stay in communication with Him and let Him give me instructions. “Where He leads me, I will follow. I’ll go with Him all the way.”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).