Sunday, September 18, 2011

What Happens when the Door Slams

The old saying goes "When a door shuts, God opens a window". As far as I know, there aren't any comforting cliche sayings for when "the door slams in your face, and knocks you so hard on the head that it sends you sailing backwards, landing on your back." Oh, one could argue that a window will eventually open, but what this saying fails to emphasize is the unknown, trying hours that are spent waiting for that window to open so that you can climb down the tree to the next opportunity in life."Opening a window" is an equilative to God answering our prayers in a specific way. When a door slams shut in our face, it is uncomfortable, scary, intimidating, frustrating, maddening and depressing.

Have you ever had someone slam a door in your face? Maybe it was during an argument with someone, and one of you decide that the easiest way out is slamming the door; an action that doesn't need words, and often more powerful. This scenario is especially hurtful when it is in regards to a close, meaningful friendship/relationship. One day, something is said or done, and it can't get worked out. Then, when you least expect it, they shut the door. No more phone calls or heart to heart's over coffee. No more affirming words and support. The door is closed and sometimes it never opens again.What if God chooses not to open a window? Does that make Him any less capable, righteous and loving? And here's a thought: What if that slamming door is the open window?

You see friends, God promises His children that He will always provide. Also known as, He will always open a window. However, we must strive to see what window God opens through a slammed door. Right now, I'm learning that that window is a window that opens to full and complete dependence and trust in Jesus Christ, a desire to pour myself into His word and to pray as if it is physical water that I need to survive.

May you have the courage to step through the windows of slammed doors, allowing the Holy Spirit to help you recognize one when you see one. There are no closed doors, only opportunities to trust God unlike you ever have before.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vision Keepers

What is a vision? "Vision" is one of those words that encompasses several different meanings. As humans we strive to have "20/20" vision to properly see and for hundreds of years people have had visions for a company, a product, and/or idea. There is also the type of vision that is placed in the heart of a person. Much like Martin Luther King's famous speech "I have a dream", could easily be interpreted as "I have a vision".
This post was inspired by a song that came on my radio station this morning during my quiet time. The song is entitled "A Women's Heart" by recording artist Jenny Jordan Frogley. The whole song brought me to tears as I felt God tenderly touching my heart through those lyrics. There was one part of the song that spoke especially clear to me:
"She's a keeper of the vision

She's a beacon in the night

A teacher and defender of truth

and everything she touches

bears the traces of her light."

I can confidently say that throughout my whole life, I have possessed a vision for something or someone. I have always been able to see in my heart and within my wild imagination, how I envision something to look and be. I believe that these visions are what keep us alive and keep us pressing beyond the struggles and the mundanes of the present. There are people who are given special gifts to envision something, and then bring that vision to reality. A good friend of mine has this gift. She took a few pictures that I had taken of my apartment, and turned it into a beautiful, cozy little nook that I can truly call a home. There are others who have a vision, but are too afraid to carry out what it would take to bring it to life.
While healing from my concussion that occurred a little over a month ago, I had lost my vision. I lost my vision for my job, my position, opportunities for my voice, my writing, my relationships, goals. It was as if the glasses that give me that vision were stashed away in a drawer somewhere, buried underneath daily, persistent headaches, fatigue, irritability and depression. I am still healing, but in addition to the healing of my brain, my heart has been healing as well.
Pain makes us surrender; Surrender to medications, help, sleep, changing a habit, etc. Eventually the pain can become so intense, that we realize that the thought of dealing with the pain or finding a solution on our own, makes things even more painful. It is in that time that our heavenly Father stops our pain by stepping in.
Oh, maybe the actual physical and/or emotional pain doesn't completely go away. But if it did, would we understand the importance of true and literal dependence on Jesus to carry us through this life? I desire a reprieve; a "mountain top" season of life, if you will. But for now, the wilderness is going to have to do. For now, it is a "crash course of Jesus dependence" time of life.
How about you? Do you have a vision, or has it been lost? Ask Him. Ask God to give you a vision. A vision for your relationship with Him, your family, your job, your education, volunteering, and serving Christ as a whole. Remember friends. We are the vision keepers and beacons of truth in this world. Shine that light.