When Doors Silently Close
Timing is everything. I’ve heard it my whole life, but I’m not sure it ever made sense to me until the last few years.
It seems the older I get - the more life I live and the more I get to know God - the more I understand just how true this statement really is. In finding the right career path, the right city and home to live in, the right spouse, the right ministry, timing really is everything. And God’s timing is especially worth waiting for.
I don’t know about you, but I can be a bit (okay way more than a bit) impatient. I’m always ready for the next thing, the next goal, the next moment. And I tend to waste the beauty of the present constantly dreaming or, more often, worrying about the future. I just want to get there, you know. But the difficult part is, there is often changing.
You know what I’m talking about, the infamous there that we all dream up in our minds. If I can just get there then I will be successful, then I will be happy, then I will know I have a purpose. If I can just get there then I won’t need anything else, I will be completely fulfilled and content and everything will be perfect, and I will never want for anything ever again.
As you’re reading this, you know exactly what your there is. I can’t speak for you, but I can name a few of the goals I’ve believed would fulfill me that seem to be pretty common so maybe you can relate. If I can just graduate college and get a great job. If I can just get out of this job and move onto the next one. If I can just get that promotion, that raise. If I can just move to a new city. If I can just meet the man of my dreams. If I can just figure out exactly what God’s purpose for me is. If I can just get 10,000 followers on Instagram. And the list could go on and on.
It’s healthy to dream and plan. It’s good to be moving forward and hoping to grow, better yourself and be open to change. But it can also be easy to get so caught up in believing the next thing will be the thing that you can’t enjoy where you are right now. So how do we balance healthy goal setting with embracing the present?
In my experience, the key to this balance is remembering that God is always working for my good (Romans 8:28) if I’m giving Him permission to lead my life, even when I can’t see what He is doing or believe He isn’t doing anything.
Time after time God proves that He sees the whole picture of our lives while we only see where we are now. And if we will listen to His leading, He will direct us toward our best future (Jeremiah 29:11), while also teaching us how to enjoy the present (James 4:14).
In January of this year I started feeling really unsettled and discontent with my job. God began pushing me to open my mind to change and start looking at other options. Over the last 10 months I have looked at multiple job opportunities along with training programs and returning to college. I knew God was pushing me to do something different. As I continued to explore more options I became more and more anxious and frustrated that God wasn’t making a path clear and opening a door so wide that I couldn’t help walking through. And I grew more and more disconnected from my job, wishing I could just leave already.
I’m still at that job now and I still know it isn’t long-term, but God has restored an interest in it within me; just last week, through His urging and the words of a close friend, God made it clear that He set me on this journey this year to reawaken a career dream in me that has been dead for years.
All year, through my discontentment, my frustration, my complacency, and my impatience, as I have pursued different jobs and training and then He has silently closed the doors, God has been working for my good to awaken a dead dream in me and silence some loud lies the enemy had been shouting. Disappointments and let downs over the last few years that I believed to be setbacks were actually God’s blinders to keep me on track to get me here. He has given me a goal and a plan for the future, for the next thing, the next there, and He has also opened my eyes to see that my current job has played an important role in getting me to this place and will continue to do so as I purse my dreams.
God works all things for good - past, present, and future. He sees our entire lives while we only see where we are today. He knows what is best when we only know what is immediate. And He can always be trusted if we will just listen to His leading.
God’s Word can be trusted. His directions can be followed. And His timing is always perfect.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.