my life feels like an open door (not the same thing as being an open book). what I mean by this is that people seem to continuously come and go, in and out of my life. So maybe revolving door would be a better description of what I experience. Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore? (isn’t that a song title?) But you get what I’m feeling, right?
Seems like I just get attached to a person, let them in, create a space for them in my life and in my heart – and then poof they are gone. Leaving behind an empty space that will remain that way, always hopeful for their return. Hence the word revolving. There are partings and there are reunions. Both are a part of this open door policy I have.
When parting is too painful, I often consider adopting a closed door policy. I will let no one in and let no one out. No one will get too close to me and so gain access to my heart. “No more empty spaces!”, I promise myself. Funny thing about a closed door, it may keep people from entering in, but it doesn’t seem to stop them from leaving. Death, disagreements, misunderstandings, moving away for a job; these somehow find their way through the closed door, letting my loved ones leave my life.
Living life with an open hand, open heart, open door policy is not for the faint of heart. It requires risk. To open my hand, I have to let go of what I am holding onto so tightly. It is the only way my hands will be ready to receive what God wants to give me today. I have to turn my clenched fists into open palms, extended outward, facing upward – empty of yesterday’s burdens and regrets, ready to receive today’s manna from God’s hand. Just what I need for today. No more and no less. Just what my open hands can hold for now. Nothing I have to hang onto. I can share it, I can give it away. This leaves room to receive more from God that can flow right through my spread out fingers onto others. That’s the beauty of an open hand.
I need an open heart to go along with my open hands. This means people will be entering and exiting my life often, leaving well worn paths across my heart and empty spaces in their wake when they leave. Joy and pain taking turns, vying for position. Some days the former has the upper hand, some days the latter. If I close my heart to one of them, my heart is closed to the other also. I must accept both joy and pain, the comings and the goings. It is for me to keep their empty spaces open, ready to receive them gladly, if perchance they should return. That is the beauty of an open heart.
An open door not only allows people access, it invites them in. It says you are welcome here for as long as you like. The open door says you are not a prisoner here, you can leave anytime you like. The open door is not afraid of loss. It knows that is the price paid for the privilege of knowing someone who enters in at the open door; only to later leave by that same open door. The door that is always open to those who would enter, must be equally open to those who would exit. I must learn to cherish well those who come in and those who go out. That is the beauty of an open door.
My open door policy often leaves me reeling, probably because of how often people come and go. I crave more consistency. And I have found that consistency in One who asked to enter into my life and my heart, has made His home with me and has never left. Jesus doesn’t change and He doesn’t enter my life only to exit it. Even with my open door policy, Jesus has come to stay. In fact, because of Him I can live my life with open hands, an open heart and an open door.
Jesus is the model for my open door policy. In fact, He is the open door. In John 10:9 Jesus tells me, “I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” That’s a life giving, life sustaining, open door.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’ ” (John 14:23)
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
God’s word also tells me in Hebrews 3:7, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, . . . “. A closed heart, closed door policy shuts God out and shuts me off from all He has planned for me. I need to loosen my clenched fists’ grip on the things of this world and live with open hands, an open heart and an open door. It’s not a pain free policy, but it is a policy providing freedom and joy in abundant measure.
sincerely, Grace Day