Last night I had plans to attend a new worship service in Gilbert. I had been aching to meet new people and build a support system of friends since I moved here and I was really looking forward to the night.
Worship + Jesus + adults my own age = an excited Kelsey!
I anxiously followed my GPS to the church, pulled into a somewhat bare parking lot, and courageously got out of my car and walked on campus. Quickly, I had this eerie suspicion that I was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or that I had somehow stepped into some kind of weird Christian horror movie – Cue the theme from Halloween…raspy-voiced narrator creepily speaks…”Kelsey was an unsuspecting girl, searching for a place to worship. Little does she know, something is searching for her…” Dum, dum, dum…screenplay written by Frank Peretti, music by Chris Tomlin.
After attempting to open all the locked doors and looking into every lit classroom, I was at a loss. I checked the website on my fancy-shmancy phone, and wasn’t mistaken. The information was correct – I was in the right place and at the right time.
What went wrong?
Frustrated and sticky with sweat – did I mention it was 100+ degrees out? – I got back into my air conditioned car and started thinking about the situation I had found myself in. Locked doors…to a church… oxymoron? Regardless, I couldn’t help but feel like running into these kinds of situations has been an all too familiar occurrence in my life lately and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
When have you experienced locked doors?
We all have had some kind of spiritual encounter like this in our lives. We try a path in our life – a relationship, a career choice, a family decision – and we end up with a locked door. Not just closed – locked. For whatever reason, God shuts it down and very carefully, yet lovingly utilizes the process of elimination in our lives. Determined to unearth God’s will, we try another door – locked. Another one – locked. Eventually, we either end up disappointed, frustrated and ever-so-willing to give up or we find the door that’s been wide open all along.
I’ve been experiencing these locked doors a lot lately. I tried doing it alone in Sacramento – locked doors. I tried seeking jobs elsewhere – locked doors. Eventually, I gave up and allowed God to work it out for me and I’m still waiting to see whether this new door is locked or not.
The difficult part is knowing that God has an incredibly amazing plan for us, but for some reason, we can’t get to it. Even last night, all the doors were locked, but I could hear the worship service going on inside! I couldn’t get to it, but I knew it was there all along. We know God has plans. It’s one of the most quoted Bible passages in Scripture. We see it on picture frames, wedding invitations, movies about surfing, and in countless Christian cards and inspirational messages.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
God has plans.
Locked doors are purposeful.
Open ones are few and far between, but when they’re open, they open wide and are chock-full-o-nuts and blessings! There is hope in the locked doors. Locked doors tell us there’s an even better plan waiting to happen – a plan that is so far greater than our own understanding, a plan that will prosper us and give us hope and a future.
The next time you find yourself in the midst of a door, or several, please remember – locked doors are God’s way of guiding us to the open ones.
By the way, it turns out the service had been cancelled and what I was hearing was practice for the worship band. So, even if I had opened those doors, I would have definitely been out of place! Maybe God was protecting me from further foolishness?