Prior to the pandemic we used to hear so much about open doors. Churches looked for ways to open doors for ministry, while businesses and schools implemented open-door policies. People would say, “I’m waiting for a door to open before I step out in faith. I know God’s going to suddenly open doors in my favor. And once that door swings open, then I’ll walk through it.”
There’s nothing wrong with this attitude. Most of the time, at least prior to the coronavirus, open doors signiﬁed a welcoming stance, an invitation of inclusivity, and a willingness to expand borders and boundaries. But when we limit ourselves to open doors, we overlook the opportunities afforded by being set apart. Relying on open doors, we minimize the beauty and blessing of what takes place behind closed doors.
Even the phrase behind closed doors often has an ominous ring to it. Private meetings take place behind closed doors along with sketchy deals and illicit relationships. Personal conversations are kept behind closed doors when speakers want to protect their privacy and conﬁdentiality. There’s an assumed sense of enclosure and intimacy, exclusivity and separation, protection from prying eyes and listening ears.
We need not assume conspiracies, shady business dealings, and unethical practices are synonymous with behind closed doors, because sometimes we need the solitude, sanctuary, and stillness closed doors provide. “Be still, and know that I am God,” the Bible tells us (Ps. 46:10). Miraculous, transformative, and holy things often take place behind closed doors. Only in the quiet tranquility of resting in the arms of God can we discover the depths of His love for us. Only behind closed doors can we experience the soothing balm of peace afforded by the Spirit’s embrace.
Now more than ever we long for the security, assurance, and peace that passes understanding as we endure the ongoing shock waves of the pandemic and its economic and social trauma. Most of us have found our faith stretched and tested like never before. We want to trust God but ﬁnd ourselves tempted by despair as the world as we have known it crumbles before our eyes. Anxiety and depression, already rampant in our chaotic world before the coronavirus, became twin children of the pandemic forever tugging at our minds, hearts, and souls. Without the support of others, the encouragement of community, and the fellowship of our churches, we faced epidemic loneliness, our suffering compounded by our isolation.
When we have nowhere left to turn, however, we discover an awareness of God’s presence in our midst. He has been there all along, but in the hectic pace of our busy, distracted lives we often overlooked him. Sequestered and quarantined by the pandemic, we now have fewer distractions and obstacles impeding our need. We have never been in control of our lives, but it took recent events to shatter our illusion that we are self-sufﬁcient.
In the midst of such vulnerability, desperation, and unvarnished need we realize that God has a gift for us behind closed doors. Don’t believe me? You will recall that after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples not before an open door but behind a closed door: “That evening, the disciples gathered together. And because they were afraid of reprisals from the Jewish leaders, they had locked the doors to the place where they met. But suddenly Jesus appeared among them and said, ‘Peace to you!’” (John 20:19, TPT).
We quarantined ourselves in order to survive.
But God set us apart so we can thrive!
Samuel Rodriguez teaches you how to thrive this Tuesday and Thursday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from From Survive To Thrive by Samuel Rodriguez. Copyright ©2020 by Samuel Rodriguez. Published by Charisma House. Used by permission.