For my entire life as a believer I’ve heard the phrase, “When God closes a door he opens a window.” The idea is that if an opportunity goes away God provides another. It is meant to be a comfort when something we wanted gets closed down. In later years I learned a Quaker phrase, “Proceed as the way opens,” meaning in our pursuit of God’s life we seldom get to see very far in advance but we should simply move forward as opportunities open up. Both of those phrases have proven true for me at different stages of life.
In Noah’s case God closed the door to protect Noah and his family. I wonder how often God has closed a door, slamming it shut, to protect me and my family? How many missed opportunities or regrets that seemed bad at the time but were actually God’s grace?
Story #2: Genesis 14 tells
the story when
When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken captive he assembled his own men and pursued the warring tribes, chasing them across the countryside until he soundly defeated them. He recovered all the goods and people and brought them back home.
As I read this I wondered if being
captured and destined for slavery or death was
Story #3: Genesis 16 describes the plight of Hagar, servant to Abram and Sarai, who was tossed out of the family through no fault of her own. Hagar called the place where God spoke to her “Beer Lahai Roi,” saying, “You are the God who sees me.” What a comfort to know we are seen, to know we are valued, to know our efforts and contribution have made a significant impact and have been noticed by those who matter, to know we are not alone, to know we are not abandoned, to know God sees us. In ancient religions it was not good to be seen or noticed by god. Worship was about appeasing god and keeping him satisfied and keeping him distant. But here is a God who showed himself to Hagar and she was blessed. She knew she was not alone. Even when pushed out of her family, out of her own life, and left alone, she knew the one who mattered saw her and noticed her. Sometimes that’s the grace we need most.
Story #4: Finally, in Genesis
19, angels had to drag Lot and his wife by the hand to save them from
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32
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