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Waiting for the Opened Door

Over the years, I have had conversations with people about our believing for an opened door. In most cases, these were people, who like me, were frustrated and thinking our gifts and talents were not being fully utilized. Feeling as if we were bursting at the seams, we complained of feeling as if something or someone was preventing us from operating as our whole selves.

Not wanting to buck up against authority, we would submit and stew. Complaining that we were not allowed to use all our talent, we would pray for change. We would pray that the assigned leaders would see the possibilities associated with allowing us to function at full capacity… we prayed for an opened door. God answers that prayer differently for different people. What I have seen, is that the open door we pray for is not always in to something but could just be an exit from something that no longer fits.

Photo by Matt Flores on Unsplash

In a discussion with someone leaving a ministry under unpleasant circumstances, I wondered if the open door we had been praying for was a means of escape from an oppressive ministry. See, she wanted to be used more where she was, but perhaps God had different plans. Perhaps, He deemed it more beneficial for her to move to a wide opened space… to another field. A field where she could exercise her gifting and have the freedom to be a blessing elsewhere. In her case, the opened door led out, not in. 

I know of another situation where the open door led to other opened doors. In praying that he be allowed to fully express his talents and gifts without criticism and censorship, this brother too waited for an open door. God answered His prayer. Yet, his opened door was more like a corridor to other opened doors. His next ministry position, “opened” up to more occasions to minister in various places. Like the sister I already mentioned, this brother’s opened door was out of an oppressive situation into multiple blessings.

Photo by Nazrin B-va on Unsplash

Then there’s me. I had been invited to have a conversation with HR and my immediate supervisor. But what it really was me being told I was fired from my church employment. As I was still reeling from what I saw as an ambush that reeked of discrimination, I had to laugh… I had been praying for change. My being fired was an answered prayer. I had been praying for larger territories and support system that would help me celebrate what I brought to the table. It seemed in order to get there, I had to be forced out or where I was first. I was kicked out of one very small door so that I could see there were others to choose from.

What I hope you are beginning to see is, our understanding of an opened door may be limited. Sometimes the limitation is bore out of impatience. Sometimes it is due to ignorance. We may want God to place THE opened door before us so that we don’t have to exert any energy or effort; we want to simply walk through what we believe God has provided. Yet, I am learning that God sometimes make us uncomfortable where we are, maybe even slam doors behind us, just to remind us that there is so much more for us (and in us) on the other side of frustration.

Photo by Chelsea Cook on

Then there are those of us who will walk through what we believe is an opened door, to find ourselves between two closed doors. Left in limbo, we wonder if we missed God. We ask if God even knows what He is doing. We question if we are to just sit there or is there something to be done or learned in that place of “what’s this?” Having been in that place more times than I want to count, I have learned that in that type of waiting, we are to seek God, trust God, and be bold enough to grab the doorknob that is in front of us.

Between those two doors, is a type of waiting room. We know that blessing is on the other side because we believe that God is the giver of good gifts (Matt 7:11, James 1:17). We trust that God’s Word is true and that all things really do work together for good (Ro 8:28). Just like an open door, even our seasons of waiting have purpose. In that hallway between blessings, we are wise to recall the many times He has previously answered our prayers. Travis Green sings, “Who You were, is who You are!” Tye Tribbett says, “Same God right now, same God back then!” The Word assures us that God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever! (Heb 13:8).

Photo by Rodrigo Santos on

God’s ability is not hampered by our inability to see what He is orchestrating. There are times God will give us a peek into our future. There are times we must remember His provision in the past and trust him to answer the questions we have in the present about our future. Just know, if God presented the door, walk, if not run, through it. When God has you waiting for the next door to open, have faith that He is arranging your pasture of blessing that is for your good and His glory!

Originally published 6/2017 * Revised 12/2021

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