Did God ever close a door you wanted open? Yeah, me, too.
As I finished up my undergrad degree, I felt led to pursue a Master’s — at seminary. My parents had paid for my sister’s law school, including housing and expenses, so somehow I expected the same. I was wrong, and I saw God close the door.
Maybe I’d been talking about my research into seminaries and the degree program I planned to join. I don’t recall. What I do remember was my dad showing up one day. Randomly. Mind you, it was a 4-hour drive to get there. But he sat me down, told me that seminary wasn’t going to happen, and I needed to get a job instead.
And I saw God close the door.
It felt more like God slammed it in my face. But I found a job. The same job where a new coach was starting. The same coach I later (5 years later) started dating, married, and raised 2 great kids with. The same coach who now shares retired life with me.
Imagine preaching for 100+ years and only saving 7 other people. That’s Noah’s story. God saw how wicked all the people of earth had become. BUT “Noah pleased the LORD” (Gen. 6:8), and he “walked with God” (v. 9). AND he obeyed God – even when God commanded him to do some really crazy stuff:
- Rescue only your family as a flood destroys all human beings.
- Rescue a pair of every animal because God is sorry He ever made them.
- Rescue them all by building a boat. In the desert. A BIG boat.
- 450 feet long
- 75 feet wide
- 45 feet high with 3 decks
In fact, “Noah did everything that God commanded him.” (Gen. 6:22)
Miracle Upon Miracle
Again, God stacked miracles. First, God says in Genesis 6:3 that humans have become so wicked that He is reducing the life span to 120 years. That was one way to close the door on the population. Others had lived 800-900 years up to that point. Yet we see in Gen. 7:6 that Noah was much older than 120 when the flood came. He was 600 years old. “Underground springs split open, and the clouds in the sky poured out rain. The rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.” (Gen. 7:11-12).
Get in the boat
The same day that God started the flood process, Noah and his family got on the boat. Miracle: Gen. 7:15, “Every creature that had the breath of life came to Noah in the boat in groups of two. One male and one female of every living thing came, just as God had commanded Noah.” (Gen. 7:15-16a)
And then… wait for it. “Then the LORD closed the door behind them.” That’s right. Noah saw God close the door. No worries about leaks. No way to open up for anyone deciding at the last minute that Noah’s folly of a giant boat in the desert might be a good idea after all and ask to come inside.
When you let God close the door
- Protection – He protects us from harms that we can’t even fathom.
- Direction – God directed that boat during the YEAR Noah and family were aboard. I’d you think it was only 40 days/nights? Nope. That was just the rainy days. He was 600 when the flood started and he was 601 when the water dried up (Gen. 8:13) – On the 1st day of the 1st month. YET God still had Noah wait.
- Patience – Gen. 8:14 tells us Noah had to wait until the 27th day of the 2nd month before the land was completely day and God gave him permission to leave.
When the door opens
When God allowed Noah to leave, his 1st response was to set up an altar and make sacrifices to God. This pleased God. Now, I’m not suggesting you build a stone altar or sacrifice animals — Jesus is, after all, the final sacrifice. I am, however, suggesting that when God finally releases you after you see Him close the door, you need to take note and sacrifice some time in prayer and praise.
What it means to me:
- Thank God for the closed door. He has your best in mind. If He says “No” now, the “yes” will be so much better. Like when I found my husband without seminary. Also make a note of the NO, so you can recognize the YES when it come.
- Recognize this is a normal part of God’s process, and it includes some waiting time before He releases you.
- Praise God for His protection and guidance. Worship Him when the YES comes, but also praise Him DURING the storm – even if you had other plans that He said NO to. It will pay off in the long run.