Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. ~1 Chronicles 28:20
Almost thirty years ago, my husband and I lived in a small two-bedroom apartment with our infant daughter. He was a full-time student who worked a part-time job after school and on week-ends. I frequently returned home from work in the evenings, with our baby daughter in tow, to an empty apartment.
One evening, after picking our daughter up from day-care, I returned home, opened the door, and heard a loud crash coming from the back of the apartment. I thought something had fallen over, so I set the baby carrier on the floor and took a couple of slow, quiet steps into the living room. I was able to see that the drawers in my dresser had all been pulled out, and the door to the patio was wide open. I backed up, picked up the baby seat that held our daughter, and quickly exited the apartment. I went next door and called the police, with hands shaking so hard I could barely hold on to the telephone.
Fast forward about four months. I was still feeling sad about some of the items that had been taken from us, especially those that could not be replaced. I was finally able to sleep again with the baby in her own room (the burglars had entered through her window). I was beginning to feel safe. And then one evening, I arrived home and opened the door to the apartment, where I discovered a broken living room window and several more missing items. I didn’t walk in this time. I carried my daughter next door and called the police.
For weeks afterward, I was unable to enter our home unless my husband was with me. I tried to do it, but my heart would beat wildly, my hands would shake, and I was paralyzed with fear. I could not make myself reach for the door knob and turn it. I could not make myself open that door. I was afraid of what might be on the other side.
With prayer, with help from family and friends, with much encouragement from my husband, and with the installation of an alarm system, I was eventually able to enter that apartment door without fear.
Have you ever been afraid to open a door? I think we probably all have. Maybe you were afraid to open the door to your doctor’s office because you were there to hear the results of some important medical tests. Maybe you were afraid to enter a new classroom for the first time; or a current classroom because you weren’t prepared for a test that day. Perhaps you were afraid to open the door to a new place of employment, because you weren’t sure you would measure up to their expectations. Sometimes, we are afraid to open doors because we aren’t sure of what will be waiting on the other side.
God gives us doors to open every day. He gives us doors to new adventures and opportunities. He gives us doors to ministry—doors that lead us toward people who need to know about the love of God. He gives us doors to places where we can serve those in need. God gives us doors that open to more knowledge and understanding of His amazing ways. And God gives us doors to open for others, leading them through to His grace and redemption.
Through His Word, God tells us not to be afraid. He will walk with us through all our doors. He will strengthen us and give us the courage we need to accomplish the work He has for us to do. So let’s be courageous and open the doors God sets before us. He knows what is on the other side.
Be blessed, my friends.