“There’s no door that God opens that man can close, and there’s no door that God closes that man can open.”
I’m not quite sure where I first heard these words, I think one of my auntys’ said this to me, but whenever something starts or ends in my life, I always find myself repeating this statement. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered my personal mantra is actually in the bible, “…These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open,” Revelations 3:7.
Lately, I find myself repeating this statement – they’re etched across my mind. Honestly though, these words are difficult to grapple with because I like to be in control. It’s one of my character flaws. In the past, I’ve dealt with many situations that were out of my control. One of those situations being dealing with a less than present father. My dad wasn’t perfect, he was and is human. He had issues of his own to deal with – personal demons just like everyone else. But when I was a child, none of this mattered. He was my superhero, my Superman. I remember driving around with him to run errands while blasting Buju Banton for the neighborhood to hear. One of his favorite past times was cooking. The kitchen was his sanctuary, and my favorite meal was his piping hot cornmeal porridge served with cocoa bread. No matter what time of day, his porridge truly blessed me as a kid. However, his demons interfered with our relationship, and I couldn’t see him anymore.
As I grew up, he wasn’t in the picture. And it wasn’t until years later that we reconnected, and I realized my Superman was really Clark Kent, just as warped as the rest of us. While we were apart, he battled some beasts, beasts I wish upon no human. And I wish to God that he hadn’t. Maybe if he didn’t, he would have been around more. Every little girl needs her daddy. However, this was out of my control. I hated it then, and I get frustrated now when life spirals out of my control. There are times when I find myself disappointed with situations ending that I thought were supposed to play out successfully. However, instead of battling with the “why” of it, I practice saying, “There’s no door that God opens that man can close, and there’s no door that God closes that man can open.” Essentially, God is in control. I can’t make things happen as much as I want to, he makes it happen.
Let’s put it this way, I can’t heal broken people, only God can. Just because I watch a million hours of Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t make a physician out of me – God is the ultimate physician. If I was able to heal someone, they would end up relying on me instead of God. And if people came to me for all of their issues, eventually they would see that I can’t do it all; I have limitations. However, God is unlimited – he is God of the impossible. And when people learn the characteristics of God, the loving, forgiving and protecting father that he is, they can come to him (instead of me) and form a relationship with him. He saves, sets free and redeems. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Christianity, however, is not for the faint of heart! I think there are individuals who believe that God is like a genie in a bottle, who I can rub and ask for three wishes. However, it’s not like that at all.
This relationship I have with Christ is by choice. No one forced me. I made the decision to rededicate my life to Christ because only he can save me from my sins, so I can live unashamed. Only he can deliver me from my issues, so I can be set free. And only he can redeem me from my past, so I can be made new & whole in him. God desires for me to dedicate my day and activities to him, but this takes practice. It’s not easy, and he never said it would be. However, it’s because of his grace that I am here. It’s because of his grace that I can share my story. And it’s because of his grace that I can share his love with others. With all that I’ve been through, I’m surprised that I haven’t ended my life, and I’ve thought about it. However, accepting Christ into my life gave me hope when I was hopeless. And don’t get me wrong, I do experience these feelings at times, but I am reminded of all that he has brought me through, and this reminder gives me the courage to push forward.
I’ve learned and am still learning to trust his plan for my life. He knows “the end from the beginning” Isaiah 46:10. And because he knows the end, he knows every event that will take place in the middle because he’s the author of my story down to the very detail. While this may be devastatingly frustrating at times to understand that God holds the pen and not me, I also find comfort in knowing that he is working out everything for my good. The plans he has for me are to “prosper [me] and not to harm [me], plans to give [me] hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Ciao for now,