Have you ever heard the saying 'Where God closes a door, he opens a window'?
Throughout my life it seems that whenever I have been disappointed or something I was enjoying came to an end, someone has always encouraged me with this phrase and it has invariably been true. Since becoming a Christian 30 years ago there have been many occasions where God has 'closed a door' and he has always provided just the right opportunities to move forwards in response.
As a child we had one of those now outdated front doors which locked as soon as you closed it. This meant that you always had to have a key with you or you could find yourself locked out if no one was in when you returned home or if you went out as a family. One Saturday afternoon we returned home from a family trip to discover that the front door key was not with either of my parents or on my dad's car keys. It was in fact in the kitchen lying on the side. The back door was locked as well. We were locked out!! Thankfully the smallest lounge window had been left slightly open on its latch and a discussion took place as to which child would squeeze through it. My sister was too tiny to make it safely and I was too big. It fell to my brother, who was just the right height and size, to crawl through and let us in. Needless to say, my dad firmly attached the house key to his car keys from then on!
Windows are not always easy to climb through. Some can be large and easy to travel through, others may only open a little for safety reasons. Some windows are of the old sash variety which may fall down and slice one in half at any moment. The trouble with the phrase at the beginning of this blog is that windows are just not made to climb through! We are supposed to enter buildings and places through the door.
We are now entering the New Year of 2021 and I write this blog on New Year's Day. January in Latin is Ianuarius and is named after a Roman god who represented beginnings and transitions. Originally the Roman calendar only consisted of ten months totalling 304 days and winter was considered a month-less period, non-descript and a time to rest. March and the spring represented the new year and the sign of new growth and life. This seems appropriate. Eventually January and February were added on to the end of the year to cover the full period of 354 days (a standard lunar year). Then at some point, to suit their politics and military campaigns, January was promoted to being the beginning of the year and has remained there ever since. The new year now starts in the winter when days are short and light is at a minimum.
I believe that if God closes a door, he opens a bigger and better one elsewhere! Just as the new year now starts 'in the bleak midwinter' and the greyness and anti-climax of the post-Christmas season, God uses the low and dark times to bring things to an end and prepare new beginnings and opportunities for us. If life was always comfortable and sunny, we would become complacent and stale but when summer seasons end, we have to look for a new chapter and go through new doors to become all God wants us to be and to see fresh growth. January is cold and dark but under the soil new life is being prepared ready to spring up!
The pandemic which hit us in 2020 may have brought a few things to an end for you in a sudden way, causing stress, grief and disappointment but be comforted that however hard things continue to be as we begin a new year, a better season is opening up in the days to come. God is preparing it.
Romans 8 v22-23 MSG-'But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!'