Mark S. Mitchell

Pastor, Writer, Follower of Jesus

Sitting with God in a Dark Garage


Recently our family experienced a little crisis that has taught me something about the way God works in our lives.

As I was getting ready to drive home from my gym I saw a text from my wife telling me to call her right away. So I called and she was quite alarmed because as she and our daughter sat in the backyard our 21-month-old grandson walked into the house and locked the door. They had no way to get into the house, and although at first they heard him crying, after a few more minutes he went silent. They couldn’t even locate him through the windows. So they called me and I told them to call 9-1-1. By the time I got to the house the fire truck had come, busted down a door, and found our grandson sitting in the dark garage. Of course, he was quite happy to be set free into the wide expanse of his backyard!

I think that’s how we sometimes think the Christian life is supposed to work. When we get stuck somewhere, all we have to do is shoot a 9-1-1 prayer up to God and He’ll hear our cry and unlock the door to all the blessings we desire. Sometimes He does that. But the older I get the more I realize the Christian life doesn’t always work that way. So often He doesn’t break down the door right away — like when a marriage doesn’t heal, or when rebellious kids still rebel, or when a friendship continues to go south, or when a financial situation gets worse, or when loneliness intensifies and depression deepens.

Sometimes what God does instead of breaking the door down and setting us free is He climbs through a small window into our dark room. He doesn’t let us out. Instead, He sits down on the garage floor and says, Come sit with me! I want to meet you right here. He seems to think that climbing into the garage to be with me matters more than letting me out to play. We don’t always see it that way. If you love me, you’ll break down the door! But, the choice is ours. Either we can keep asking Him to give us what we think will make us happy — to escape our dark garage and run to the backyard of blessings — or we can accept His invitation to sit with Him for awhile in darkness, and seize the opportunity to know Him better and represent Him well in this even darker world.

7 thoughts on “Sitting with God in a Dark Garage

  1. Hey Mark. Thanks for the blog posts. I really appreciate them. I sent your previous one (about the strength of an ox) to Thom O’Leary, who pastors Mountainbrook Community Church in San Luis Obispo. You may recall that I mentioned Thom to you previously. I believe I mentioned that Thom is the chaplain for Cal Poly football these days.

    Like you, Thom was a high school quarterback but played a different position at Cal Poly SLO and, like you, he pastors a great Bible-based church. In fact, one of Thom’s great parishioners recommended CPC to me when I was getting ready to move back to the Bay Area. Her brother attends CPC and both he and she really enjoy the services there.

    Once I got to CPC I was amazed at the similarities with Mountainbrook, not only the similarities between your background and Thom’s but also the doctrine, worship style and even the fact that both churches embarked on a similar church-building project some years before, although CPC’s project was about 10 years before Mountainbrook’s (but that fits since Thom is about 10 years younger than you and I).

    In any event, after I forwarded your previous blog to Thom and added a few more comments he said he’d love to meet you. I think you previously expressed the same interest. If that is still the case I would be glad to facilitate an introduction. Or you may just want to reach out to Thom at some point or vice versa.

    Let me know, and thanks again for your faithful service and devotion to the Lord.

    Bob Gundert

    P.S. Here is a link to one of the pages on the Mountainbrook website:

    [image: rjg addresses]

    [image: CWlogoSMALL]

    CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail communication may contain CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION WHICH ALSO MAY BE LEGALLY PRIVILEGED and/or otherwise protected by law from disclosure and is intended only for use of the intended recipients named. If you are not the intended recipient of this communication, or the person responsible for delivering this to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that the reading, copying, or distributing of this communication, or any unauthorized review, use, dissemination, downloading, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail, or by calling (408) 295-7701, delete this communication and destroy all copies.

    *From:* Mark S. Mitchell [] *Sent:* Monday, May 22, 2017 12:29 PM *To:* *Subject:* [New post] Sitting with God in a Dark Garage

    markstewartmitchell posted: “Recently our family experienced a little crisis that has taught me something about the way God works in our lives. As I was getting ready to drive home from my gym I saw a text from my wife telling me to call her right away. So I called and she was quite”

  2. Hey Mark, I heard from our mutual friend Dana Nafziger, it was last week when I was reading your last post about being on the squad.. I reached out to him in 2012..

    Have a blessed day Mark,

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Beautiful illustration. So true. How long oh Lord? His faithful presence is enough when I am smart enough to stop complaining and seek it.

  4. Hi Mark – I’m the Club Chaplain of Brisbane Lions AFL Club in Australia and past board member of Sports Chaplaincy Australia – heading over to SF this month and would love to touch base. Is there an email I can reach you on ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s