Friday, January 15, 2016

When the Door Won't Open

Yesterday morning I was feeling a little nervous about driving David to school for his first basketball practice. The two mile drive turned out to be pretty uneventful however. It was when we got there that I had problems. I couldn't open the door to let David out.

Frustration was rising with every unresponsive button that I pushed on the dashboard and door handle.

This shouldn't be that hard to do.
What is going on?!?

Throughout all of my frantic button pushing, David remained calm. He quietly pointed out to me from the back seat that the sun roof had opened.

Well, maybe the only way he can get out of the van is through the roof...

Before resorting to that method (which might have produced injury), I decided to pull out of the kid-drop-off lane and into the school parking lot to regroup.

When I pulled into a parking space, put the van in Park, and pushed buttons again, the door opened. Just like that.

Ohhh...The van needs to be in Park to open the doors. That makes sense.

Deep breath. 

Be still. (Put it in Park.) And know that I am God.

When I'm in a frazzle and still in “Drive,” I am not thinking clearly. All I want is what I want. Right. Now.

How often I have had the demanding attitude of Rachel, when in her frustration over her barrenness (and her sister's fruitfulness) she yelled at Jacob, “Give me children or I'll die!” (Genesis 30:1)

And then, like her, when she finally held her beloved son in her arms—birthed from her very own body and not her servant's—she named him “May the Lord add to me another son.” (30:24) NotMay the Lord be praised” or “Blessed be the giver of all good things.” Her all-consuming child-bearing competition with her sister Leah had become the focus of her life. Beat my sister. Have more sons. Give me more, God. And I don't want to wait either.

Earlier, she asked her sister for some of her son's mandrakes, in the hopes of getting pregnant through a superstitious practice. (30:14)

And when Jacob said it was time to move on from Laban's land, Rachel stole some of her father's household gods to take with them on their journey. It couldn't hurt, right? (31:34)

Rachel's ever-longing heart was searching for whatever luck she could find. Because in her eyes, whoever ended with the most sons would win. And find happiness.

My struggle with the van door yesterday and reading about Rachel's struggle with discontentment and entitlement has challenged me to look at my own heart.

What is my attitude toward the One True God? Do I find Him to be worthy of all my praise, no matter how He answers my prayers? Or do I go looking elsewhere when He lets me down?

Do I push buttons in rising frustration toward God when the door won't open, or do I put it in Park and inquire of Him with a quieted spirit and ears to hear His answer, whatever that might be?

Rachel's mother-in-law Rebekah also struggled with infertility. But Isaac prayed for her and when the babies jostled within her, she inquired of the Lord, “Why is this happening to me?” (Genesis 25:22-23) As I've been reading through the Bible this year, it's the first time I've noticed someone coming to God with a question like that. How significant.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

And I would add the opposite to be true as well: “In stubbornness and restlessness is your imprisonment, in frustration and discontentment you will only find defeat.”

When the door won't open” is an invitation.

Which path will I choose?

Rest or restlessness.

Trust or frustration.

Salvation or imprisonment.

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