Sometimes I cringe, just a bit when I hear people say, “When God closes a door He opens a window.”
I do not know when this silly little assertion finds its roots, but I can tell you that it is not held within any passage of Scripture with which I am familiar.
When people say, “When God closes a door He opens a window,” it makes us sound like human pinballs in search of some kind of cosmic equilibrium. But, let me caution, just because a door is open doesn’t mean we are compelled to go through it.
Look! An open door is an open door. It could be the door was errantly left open by a careless individual. Or even worse, it could be an opening by the Enemy in order to lure you in. And sometimes, in a broken world, multiple doors are just open along our route, along with many windows. They open and close all day long.
But sometimes, we turn the simple fact that there is an opportunity into a mystic affirmation that the course before me (the one I had already chosen) is the course God would like me to take. And, waddayaknow, finally “God affirms that route!” Of all the doors, we tend to focus upon the one we want and declare, “See the Lord has opened the door. I will obediently walk through.” Yes, many times we are looking hardest for the door we want to be open.
God could open all doors, or close all windows. And then what? A decision still has to be made.
Still, any given open door may not have been God’s divine perfect will. It may just have been a choice you get to, or have to make. Don’t blame God, and don’t take it as permissive license that it is a sign from God that you are obliged to do something. How many of us let life’s great choices hinge upon an open door?
There is a better way to stay “on course”; it is found in Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Here, a pair of verses is advising us through the maze of choices in life. They simply tell us how to navigate faithfully the road before us according to divine wisdom, and the benefit of such obedience.
Our own understanding of events is often skewed to reflect our own biases. Limited cognitive understanding of the circumstances, ignorance of the future, and our emotions impair our ability to be the best judges of our paths. We see what we want to see from a subjective point of view. So, our choices are flawed; our trust, our faith needs to be in a higher agency. And He is faithful to avail Himself to that grace of bearing.
To acknowledge Him is to consider Him, to trust Him, to lean on Him for understanding, even to know Him. As we do, we affirm His ways are higher, they are better, and He is the faithful Shepherd to lead us on all of the paths of righteousness.
Certainly, this passage is an exhortation much broader than any one decision in life, still, it is no less applicable to every decision in life.
Far from the mysticism and randomness of going through an open door simply because it is ajar, we should choose to honor our sovereign God. We pray! We read! We seek counsel. We let God’s Spirit lead.
Doors and traps can have much in common. So, let’s do better relying on the Holy Spirit for discernment, and the Word of God in order to walk in a favored direction, to move in a path that’s in alignment with the Law of God, rather than looking for spurious signs that inevitably lead us to follow what we ourselves were only coveting all along.
Not all open doors need to be walked through.
Not all open doors need a victim.
Closed doors are a path as well.
Maybe every door is securely closed, and every window is bolted shut.
Still, He will get us Home.
He will make your paths straight.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path” – Psalm 119:105