This article originally published in the February 2008 issue of groundswell.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with Me.” –Revelation 3:20
Jesus is the ultimate gentleman. He will stand at the door of our heart and knock. Like a dripping faucet that will not cease, He will knock. But He will not open the door Himself. He wants to you open the door.
In your heart there are many rooms. These rooms make up the sum of who we are as people. You may sup with Jesus in the fine dining room with bone china and silver. In my heart, He and I curl up on opposite ends of the couch with our feet on the coffee table.
Throughout our dinner, He will pause. He will get up and wander through the hallways of my heart. There are many doors, each with a label of what can be found just beyond the door. Some rooms hold memories, and through those doors can be great memories we sit together and cherish. Others hold memories which are painful–and we sift through them together as He rubs salve on the wounds and wraps them in healing cloths. And still, other doors hold areas of sin in my life. I want Him to clean out those rooms. I ask Him to help me, insist that He help me NOW; and sometimes He redirects me, in His wisdom knowing that there is a deeper process involved.
But there is one door I fear. More and more, He will wander to that door. He will look at the plate on the door describing its contents, and He will look at me. I turn into some crazy salesperson, trying to divert His attention to other doors. So many times He will let me walk Him elsewhere in my heart, though we both know that some day we will deal with the still-locked door. Other times, He will look longingly at the door, gently run His fingertips over the engraved label, and sigh. Tears wash down His face as He longs to open that door with me. Tears wash down mine as well, as I whisper, “I’m just not ready.”
He gently insists that it is not a matter of my readiness, but my faith. Do I really trust Him to help me through this one door, to hold my hand and give my courage? To strengthen me in my weakness and truly provide “far more abundantly than anything (I) could ever ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)?
What used to be just an every-once-in-a-while occurrence has become nearly constant. He has employed a more stubborn approach than I am able to resist. No matter my tactics, He will not be moved.
It is time to open the door. I know the time has come. I sit across the hall from the door, crouched on the floor. At times, tears come again. Other times, it is anger and resentment that He just can’t seem to let it go. Sometimes it is a blank stare, refusing to make eye contact.
My hands fidget. I alternately lower my head on my bent knees, after a time looking up at the ceiling and pushing my hair out of my eyes, off of my face.
The simple truth remains. I grew tired of fighting Him, of fighting it. In ways, all I am fighting is myself. My natural drive and momentum would insist on leaving no door unopened, no piece unexamined.
My fight against myself is over. It is time to truly see what lies just beyond the door. I fear what is there. yet it should be the safest door of all. The Jesus I proclaim gives life, breath, strength, and endurance. He sings over me with songs of praise. He held my hand, soothed my tears, and healed my pain as we explored all the other doors. He promises the same support and encouragement now.
He reaches out His hand to help me up from my crouched position on the floor. As I still stand across the hall, He does not pull me, nor does He let go of my hand. His gentlemanly ways will not force me to step alongside Him, nor will they let Him leave me unprotected.
I take the step forward so that I stand next to Him. We are both looking at the door. I fear looking at Him as I know I will break. He gave strength for this moment. As I reach up to touch the lettering on the door, a tear rolls down His cheek. Instead of pain, His tear now represents relief. He knows my interior war is finished. He knows I will turn the knob.
He watches as I trace the letters. I lower my hand, take a deep breath, and almost imperceptibly nod. I have confirmed for myself what He already knew. I now know that I will open the door. And no matter what, I will never let go the hand of the One standing beside me.
He watches me as I look straight ahead. He longs to see my first reaction to what is behind that door. I turn the knob and swing the door wide open. Just like the Israelites on the shore of the Red Sea, I must step into the room before I see what lies ahead.
We cross the threshold together…through the door marked “Hopes and Dreams.”
photo by David Schauer
Throwbacks are all about bringing in previously-published articles. These articles appeared back when groundswell was published in the form of an email newsletter. The photos are newly added to the blog.