By Joe Livesay
“When the door of opportunity opens for you, let faith and hope enter first.”
My wife and I both retired this year within 3 months of each other. I was first, and then she retired. The first day of our dual retirement was June 1. I remember sitting across from her that morning drinking coffee and thinking NOW WHAT? She was probably thinking WHAT HAVE I DONE? We had both finished the last chapter of our long and successful careers. No longer would we have to get up each day and go to work. That door was closed. NOW WHAT?
There is a line from my favorite song, Leann’s Womack’s I Hope You Dance, which says, “Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.” That is what we were hoping would happen. As it turns out, it did. In fact, many doors opened. There was the door of more time to read, the door of walking each morning together, the door of time to volunteer, and many other doors. It was no longer NOW WHAT? It was which doors to walk through.
The truth is open doors scare us. Do I really want to walk through that door? What if I don’t like what I find on the other side? This thinking has probably been a part of every one who has become a follower of Christ. Once we have accepted Christ, the door of our prior life closes and a new door in Christ opens. It may be the most frightening open door we have ever walked through. The doors that Christ opens often challenge us in ways we have never experienced. It may be a door calling us to missions or a door showing us what it means to give back a part of what we have been given. It may require us to go into neighborhoods we would have never gone in before or encounter people we have not been with before. It may be a door asking us to accept different positions at our church. There are doors Christ opens that call us to many different types of discipleship. It definitely requires us to change the way we live our lives.
How sad it would be, if, when we come to a door that Christ has opened, we close that door. We say I’m not ready to walk through that door. I can’t do what is on the other side of that door. We do not understand that if Christ opens a door for us he goes with us. Philippians 4:13 (one of my favorite verses) says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” All the doors Christ opens for us are not easy. I have heard ministers say that Christ never asks us to do something we are not able to do. I am not sure I understand or agree. There is no way to know where a door Christ opens will lead and that is what scares us. What I do understand is that it requires us to step across the threshold of the open door in faith and hope
There are all kinds of open doors. When we walk through doors Christ has opened for us the result will be a more fulfilled life, a life that matters, a life that shines light on Christ.
Most important is that Christ told us he is the door that leads to eternal life (John 10:9 ASV). That door never closes. It is always open to us. We just have to enter.