25 August 2006

Closed Doors and Broken Fingers

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17, ESV)
"The Closed Door"

Greg sat comfortably in his recliner watching his two-year-old daughter Caroline play by the fire place. The baby was finally asleep and now he could enjoy a peaceful evening while his wife, Caryn, was with some friends on a much-needed girls' night out in town.

Caroline was the apple of her father's eye. He loved to dote on his blonde little girl. Most of the time she was quite obedient (or at least gave the impression), but Caroline had a rebellious streak that sometimes scared her parents.

Greg looked out the window to see an unusually beautiful night sky. He picked up his daughter and walked out the front door to the covered porch. They both surveyed the view before them -- a velvet night sky studded with stars stretched above their 100-acre ranch, framed by a fringe of the Rockies, fresh with snow. The toddler squealed in delight at the beauty.

"Someday, this will be yours, sweetie," Greg nuzzled his little girl. A chilly November wind began to nip at their noses. Greg sheltered Caroline in his arms and took her back inside the cabin. She wasn't properly dressed for the weather and Greg could hear the distant cries of wolves. He sat her beside the crackling fireplace with her toys and went back to his recliner to read. Caroline looked winsomely out the window at the beautiful night sky. She toddled towards the window and stood on her tiptoes. Greg chuckled to himself as he thought of how he would give his little girl the ranch when she was grown. He was glad she thought it was pretty. Caroline began to wimper -- she wanted to go outside again.

"Not now, sweetheart. You're not dressed for the weather and there are wolves outside. We'll go out tomorrow when the wolves are gone and I can put you in warmer clothes."

Caroline stuck out her lower lip and looked up at her father with watery blue eyes.

"No, baby. Not now." Greg went back to his book. Caroline watched him closely for a while and began to edge towards the door. She made it to the door and looked back at her father, still reading in his chair. Caroline reached up to turn the doorknob. Greg sprang from his chair.

"No, Caroline!" He scolded as he locked the door. She sat down and pouted as her father walked back to his recliner. Then she noticed the stool. Suddenly, a wolf cried quite close to the cabin, startling Greg.

"I hope they don't get to the chickens again," Greg mumbled to himself as he rose to secure his rifle. That's when he saw that Caroline had ingeniously pushed a stool up to the door, unlocked it, and was turning the knob. Greg grabbed her and pulled the stool away.

"Caroline, I told you not to go outside. The wolves are very close and it is dangerous out there. I don't want you to get hurt." He swatted her hand this time. Caroline fussed, but seemed to understand as she went back to her toys. Greg secured the lock and went to the kitchen to fix some coffee. The wiley toddler watched her father disappear into the kitchen before sneaking towards the door again. She didn't notice the loud howling and pawing as she pushed the stool towards the door and proceeded to unlock the front door.

Greg walked out of the kitchen with his coffee and was horrified to see his daughter had opened the door -- she peered out, but what she didn't see that her father did was a large wolf heading for the opened door. Caroline looked back at her father and defiantly stuck her hand in the opening. Greg dropped his coffee and slammed the door as the wolf lunged for the two-year-old. Caroline screamed in pain as she held her crushed little fingers, but the injury would have been far worse had her father not shut the door.

Greg took his daughter in his arms and cradled her. He was upset with her for being so defiant, but sorry that his little girl had to learn such a painful lesson. He didn't say a word as he tenderly kissed her purple little fingers.

------------------------------------------------

"Nice place, Carrie," commented her friend. "Your father left you a beautiful ranch."

"He sure did," she smiled. "The best gift he ever gave me -- besides life," she added.

Carrie's friend handed her some coffee and noticed her crooked fingers. "You never told me the story behind your crooked fingers -- you said they weren't always like that."

"No, they weren't. Let me tell you what happened..."

Of course, this is an allegory, but I would have to say that little toddler was me. Three times the Lord asked me to surrender something. Three chances. I couldn't understand why God closed that door and I wanted so badly to peer out. Sure, I wrote all of these articles about surrender -- I preached it with gusto -- but when it actually came down to me totally surrendering, I didn't in my heart.

So God had to slam the door on my prying little fingers, and oh, did it hurt. But I had no one to blame but myself. God gave me not one, but three chances to surrender and I didn't. He finally had to let me learn the hard way. While my fingers aren't literally broken, I will most likely bear the emotional scars of my disobedience for the rest of my life.

Why the blogger confessional? Because I want to warn people not to do as I did. Abandon all to Christ recklessly -- hold nothing back. He wants all of you -- every dream and hope -- to be surrendered to His will. Do not fondle with closed doors. If God has sovereignly closed a door in your life, do not even play with the doorknob. You may not be able to see what is on the other side of the door at this moment. God shuts it for a reason -- you may not see now -- but He may open it again when the time is right. That is not for us to know right now.

So I admonish all of you -- obey the first time so your fingers aren't broken too.

6 Comments:

At 25 August, 2006 05:56, Blogger Palm boy said...

Sounds like the thumbscrews of old...
:D

 
At 25 August, 2006 11:54, Blogger Barbara said...

"My (daughter), do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every (daughter) whom He receives." Hebrews 12:5-6. You are greatly loved!

 
At 25 August, 2006 11:56, Blogger Barbara said...

Remember, even Tommy Nelson said that you are one of his favorite girls. That is an honor and a burden to carry!

 
At 25 August, 2006 14:15, Blogger ~*Joyzey*~ said...

Wow.

yep, He told me 5 times for one thing. And each time I did pull back, but then I'd start walking back towards the 'door' since it was in my 'play area'. I didn't get my fingers broken, but I got slapt a few times. The last one, in the face. And that was enough.

 
At 25 August, 2006 16:22, Blogger Redeemed said...

oh yes, how true. I think every believer has a story of utter disbodience where the Lord had to intervene and chastise them. It does hurt, but just like your story, it would have hurt a lot more had He not intervened!!!

Good post, Carey, and thanks for the reminder. :)

 
At 26 August, 2006 16:49, Blogger Carey said...

Yup... unfortunately, I'm one of those very thick-headed people who has to have her fingers slammed in doors.

 

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