What’s the sound a door makes when it closes? What’s the sound a dream makes when it dies? What’s the sound hope makes as it is continually deferred? The road of transition is not easy. Our knuckles are scraped and sore as we pause to knock on every possible door. Our dreams fight to keep up with the Bee Gees and stay alive. Beaten and bruised our hopes search for something to hold. What do we do when we see a glimmer of hope, a dream resurrecting, and a door opening only to hear the echo of the door as it slams shut?
A bit over-dramatic? Maybe. But I’m a writer, aren’t I supposed to the find the words that many of us are unable to express? So what do we do? Do we blame God? Do we blame ourselves? Do we seek solace in unhealthy places and faces? Do we strive to find the perfect Scripture verse to remind us that God is in control? How do we respond? How should we respond?
Logically, we understand that we cannot force a door to open. We cannot hold Human Resources captive and force them to hire us. In our hearts, we may know and believe that rejection is simply a form of God’s protection, but let’s face it after awhile a closed door become a reflection of our deepest fears. The question, “What’s wrong with me?” can easily invade our thoughts like a virus – we don’t know when it arrived or how long its effects will last.
Like a dense fog, the shame comes and clouds our vision; we lose sight of the thread of hope we were holding. Shame? Yes. Now, we have to confess to all those people who were praying for us that the door didn’t open. Some treat us with sympathy while quoting Jeremiah 29:11. Some try to “fix” it, and in the process are trying to “fix” us. Some assume that there must be some “sin” in our lives which is why God is not answering our prayers. And still others ask judgmental questions that we never hear but we can feel based upon their treatment of us.
Life isn’t easy. Our trials and tribulations are unique. So, as I got over the shock of yet another closed door, I did what any other human being who is tired of the process would do: I cried - the kind of cry that fogs up your glasses and forces you to pause so you can breathe cry. As the raindrops from my eyes fell, I confessed:
“God, I don’t understand. I just don’t understand. Why? Though my heart hurts right now, I trust You, Jesus. You are for me and not against me. You love me. You hear me as I cry out to you. Those who look to You are radiant, their faces are never covered in shame. I am still confident of this that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I will wait for You, God. I may be crying now, but I’ll be laughing later! God, I thank You that You are going to give me such a sign of Your goodness that my enemies will see it and be put to shame. Lord, You are my hope. You are my source. You are the God who opens doors no man can shut. Thank You for supplying every need and showing Yourself faithful to me.”
When we feel the breeze of a door as it slams in our faces, we remember that God created the heavens and the earth with one word. We remember that our God is an ever present help in times of trouble. We remember that we are not forgotten; we are not forsaken. We remember that seasons don’t last forever, and this too shall pass. We remember that God’s provision is not limited to our human standards. So, what do we do when the door closes again? We do what every righteous man does when he falls, we get up again. We dust ourselves off. We ask again. We seek again. And ultimately, we knock again.