"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." Revelation 3:7 (NIV)

I was standing out in the upstairs' hallway shouting through the bathroom door.

"Honey, you have to turn the knob to unlock the door."

I couldn't tell if I had gotten my child's attention. She seemed happily oblivious to the fact that she was trapped inside the bathroom with the poison under the sink, three faucets which could pour out water and overflow onto the floor, and a two and a half year old mind that failed to comprehend my panic over the situation.

"Are you listening to Mama? I want you to come to the door and try to open it. Will you do that for me, honey?"

I heard the thumping of little fists toward the bottom of the door, far away from the doorknob. After a time, I heard nothing at all--not a good sound.

After several minutes of trying to engage her in conversation to make sure that she was not doing anything that would endanger her, I was finally able to open the door by using a wooden skewer in the small opening in the middle of the knob. I opened the door, completely stressed, to find my daughter in the middle of her first attempt at applying my makeup. She had one long, continuous streak of my blush starting from one cheek across her nose to the other cheek. Looking up at me with her hazel eyes, I could see that this adventure had been a total blast for her.

I was able to open the bathroom door that day, but there are other doors that I have tried to open which have remained firmly shut. I have cried, kicked, and screamed in frustration as I have tried to turn the knob. There are some doors that I have learned need to stay shut. Opening them would be completely detrimental to me or to others.

Do you remember the game we played as kids called Telephone? The first person would whisper a sentence to the person sitting next to her. That person would repeat what was whispered to the next person and so on and so on until the last person at the end of the row of children would say out loud what she had heard. Do you remember how the sentence would get completely changed in the process of the information being passed along down the line? We would giggle over how ridiculously different the sentence had become from what was originally said by the first person. Somehow, it's just not funny at all now as adults when we learn that a game of Telephone has been played with something we have said in confidence to someone else. Opening the door of slander and gossip only opens a world of hurt to all involved in that dangerous game.

I have found that I have needed to keep another door tightly shut. I do not allow myself to have close friends that are of the opposite sex. I simply cannot go there. I have been misunderstood as being rude or prudish. I have made a vow to my husband that I will love and honor him until death parts us. I believe that I could break that vow emotionally far too easily--probably before I even realized that I had crossed the boundary--if I had a friendship with another man. That is a door that I can never open. My heart must fully belong to Rob and Rob only. My children's security and the blessing of God on my life depend on that door staying tightly shut.

Girlfriends, we can get so worked up over the doors that the Lord allows to remain shut in our lives. We can scream and cry and beat our fists. I certainly have. But I have got to remember that I am like my two-year-old daughter, so completely unable to comprehend the danger of those doors being flung open before me. My Abba stands guard over the door. To open it means to deliberately disobey and when I choose to do that, nothing good ever is on the other side of the door. Once the door is opened, so are the consequences, some that I and others may have to live with for a very long time. God knows what is best for you and me. If He has not opened the door yet, even for something as wonderful as bringing us a spouse or having a child or becoming employed, we have to trust that He has a reason. Every time I have kicked and screamed at an unopened door, I have crumpled in exhaustion and frustration. It does me no good. Instead, I must walk through the door that He has opened for me at this moment and praise Him while I do it.

Jesus, again and again, it comes back to a matter of trust between You and me. Today I must choose to let some doors remained shut forever. No matter how badly I want that door to open, if it goes against the authority of Your Word, it will only be harmful to me to force open. And then there are some doors that I believe are shut for right now. Behind those doors are promises that I feel I can claim and not be disobedient, but they are closed for now. Help me to endure the wait of those hinges swinging open in Your timing. And then there are doors that are wide open that I don't want to walk through, but You have made it clear that Your will for me right now lies on the other side of that threshold. Which door is which? Heavenly Father, that is where I desperately need Your wisdom because I can not always tell the difference. I must only walk through the doors that You have opened for me.