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.