I’m house-hunting. To be fair, I’ve been house-hunting in a fairly commitmentphobe sort of way for a couple of years. But recently, the search gathered a bit of a steam and I made an actual real-life offer on a property.
Initially I was a little unsure and went through a wobbly deliberation process of uhming and ahhing. But, over a couple of days, my excitement grew and I found myself praying, not that God would open the right door, but that he’d keep the wrong one closed.
And so at exactly 9.02am on Monday morning, I was on the phone to the estate agent throwing my hat into the ring.
As soon as I finished the call, a wave of what have I DONE? hit me, swiftly followed by, ‘What if it’s the WRONG house?’
But then I remembered the prayer.
Don’t just open the right doors, please keep the wrong ones shut.
And so I had to trust that God heard my prayer and that he wouldn’t let me walk into a bad situation.
As it turns out, it was a very popular property and I wasn’t alone in making an offer. And by Tuesday tea time, I knew that my offer had been rejected.
The door hadn’t opened. In fact, it had remained resolutely bolted shut.
My first reaction was disappointment. Mentally, I’d partially moved in, planned a housewarming drinks party in the garden, decided the colour of a feature wall and pictured myself cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
But it wasn’t to be. And I had to put my trust firmly in the idea that God can see more of the details than I can. If the door remained shut, it was shut for a reason.
Throughout my life, I’ve poked and prodded at different doors and sometimes, I’ve even wedged them open with a stubborn foot. To be honest, if God had given me everything I thought I wanted by now, I’d probably be divorced and homeless. But God, because he’s so inexplicably great and gracious has never let me go so far through a door that I couldn’t find my way back.
Making a big decision, trying to discern the will of God can be a tough process. We worry we’re making the wrong choice. And then we worry that we’re over-thinking. But, I think I’m coming to see that if we include God in the mix and are trying to live our lives well and in his plan, he will keep us from walking through the wrong door.
It doesn’t mean we get to escape bad times or heartache, (sometimes those things can lurk behind the right door), but if we stop long enough to listen, he will stop us from making a catastrophic, life-altering mistake.
So, although my first house offer wasn’t accepted, although my tedious search for a real-life home continues, I’m still thankful for the beauty and grace of a firmly closed door.