Nehemiah 2:2-When God Opens the Door

Nehemiah 2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

The far side comics are sometimes good for a laugh, one of the most famous is of a boy attending “Midvale school for the gifted” pushing on a door that has a large sign saying “pull.”

from https://brentmanke.com/norman-doors-and-designing-for-humans/

I believe this comic resonates because everyone at one point or another feels as if you are “pushing on a door that says pull.” No matter how hard you try to get the situation to work out, it just becomes worse.

For a Christian this comic has a deeper meaning because we know that God opens doors for us that cannot be shut (Revelation 3:8). This also means of course, that the doors God closes cannot be opened.

The application for us is very simple…we can save ourselves much stress and pain by using the doors that God has opened.

Nehemiah illustrates this truth for us by carrying his burden for the Jewish people being without a wall for months. This was partly because the King of Assyria was an enemy of the Jews, and asking for permission to help them could have gotten him killed. At the same time, I believe Nehemiah was determined not to act until it was God’s time.

King Artaxerxes noticing Nehemiah’s sadness (a crime punishable by death) brought a moment of fear, but that fear was immediately followed by wise action (2:3). Obviously, he had been preparing a long time for that moment.

Trying to move ahead of God’s timing thankfully won’t endanger our lives, but it does bring heartache because of wasted time and energy.

Thinking about pushing against doors that God has closed reminds me of changing my mission field four years ago. I served the Lord for six years as a missionary in Australia until new immigration laws kept me from returning.

The change of laws was necessary since some groups were taking advantage of their short-term visa’s, so for over a year I worked on receiving a permanent residency visa there. A few times during that period I wondered if the Lord was closing the door for ministry there, but I just kept telling myself I had to “push harder.” It wasn’t until months later I finally accepted the fact God had another place for me to serve.

Thankfully the Lord opened the door for me to serve in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines instead. But that experience was an important reminder for me that no amount of force can change the Will of God.

Instead of pushing against doors that we want God to open, it is instead much wiser to search for the doors that God has already opened.

Nehemiah believed God would make His will and perfect timing clear. So he calmly waited for the Lord to open up the door for action. He was ready for action once the opportunity came, but didn’t; take upon himself the responsibility of creating God’s opportunities.

Take it from someone who has pushed against too many doors that God has closed. Its better to spend less time pushing, and more time allowing God to show you what doors He has opened.

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