Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Acts 16:6
“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” Proverbs 20:24
I like it when things go according to my plan. I am pretty sure that our brains give us a shot of dopamine when a plan is well executed. For those of you not quite sure of what I’m talking about, dopamine is one type of neurotransmitter that our bodies make. Our nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. Dopamine is that “good job” feeling you get as your brain rewards you for your accomplishment.
But sometimes things don’t go according to “our plan.” There can be weeks, months and even years when things are just hard. Closed doors, family crises, or physical difficulties can greatly alter the plans we had for our lives.
Alexander Bell the III, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847.
His mother had a childhood illness that caused her to be mostly deaf and reliant on an ear trumpet to hear. As a child, Alexander would speak close to his mother’s forehead so she could feel the vibrations of his voice. Alexander’s father and grandfather were both distinguished speech therapists so from a young age, Alexander learned how to communicate with the hearing impaired. Following in his father’s footsteps, Alexander became a voice teacher and in 1873 a professor of vocal physiology at Boston University. It was there that he met his future wife, Mabel Hubbard, a student who had lost her hearing from scarlet fever as a child. Living and working with the hearing impaired was difficult, but it became the genesis of his experiments in transmitting sound waves over wires and his life’s obsession… becoming the inventor of both the telegraph and the telephone.
Alexander once said regarding the circumstances of his childhood, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one which has opened for us.”
What seems like God closing a door may just be the miracle of God opening a door, just in a new direction.
As followers of Jesus, it is good for us to plan, but as Solomon said, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” We must be willing to let God close a door, but we must also be willing to ask, seek, and knock for another to open. A closed door is just as much a miracle as an open door. A trial can be just as much the way God is working to bless our pathway. When our plans work out, we see the blessings and open doors as God’s miraculous working in our lives, but we often view difficulties and closed doors as Satan’s hindrances. Maybe the real miracle is a door being closed, things not going according to our plan, so that…we change course, look in a different direction, and see another door to knock on.
Thank you, Lord for directing our steps!