Have you ever heard the saying, “When God closes a door he opens a window?” If you are like me, you probably roll your eyes something HARD when you hear it, read it, or find yourself automatically saying it to someone going through a difficult season in life.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the truth behind the statement.
I just don’t LIKE IT.
Matthew 7:7 is a verse we like to use in situations where the doors just aren’t opening for us. It says, “Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” So, if I just ignore everything else and just keep knocking, the door will EVENTUALLY open? Does that mean I need to do like Dory from Finding Nemo, but instead of repeating the mantra, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”, I need to change it to, “Just keep knocking, knocking, knocking”?
What if it’s the wrong door? What if it NEVER opens?
This is the point where we have to be careful HOW we “use” scripture to interpret our life situations. I will concede that I love finding catchphrases and verses to encourage and equip me in situations that I find myself in. “I can do all things…” from Philippians has to be one of the most quoted and oft used verses for just such a thing.
But we have to tread lightly when it comes to trying to shoehorn our circumstances into a verse where it doesn’t really belong. In Matthew 7:7, Jesus is teaching the disciples that have gathered around him, as well as those gathered (see the beginning of the passage in Matthew 5). When we get to 7:7, Jesus is specifically talking about PRAYER: asking, seeking, knocking. The reminder here is that God will ALWAYS answer our prayers, even if it’s not the kind of answer we want.
So if this verse is about prayer, what does that mean for me and my closed doors, wrongs doors, and windows?
It means that when we find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control, in places we never imagined ourselves ending up, we need to change our FOCUS.
Instead of focusing on the DOOR, we need to focus on the LORD.
Remember Matthew 14 and Peter trying to walk on water to get to Jesus. It was going okay until he moved his focus from Jesus to the “strong wind and the waves” (v. 30).
Even more important than that is what Jesus says to Peter at that moment.
“You have so little faith, “ Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” (v. 31)
STOP staring at closed doors and START staring at His open arms.