“Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway.”
I love the sentiment in this meme but as I study the picture, several questions come to mind: Am I looking at one long hallway that runs vertically or is the artist giving me a glimpse of numerous hallways that run horizontally? What is the source of the light? Are those thresholds actual steps? Am I stepping UP each time I cross a threshold or am I simply stepping OVER the threshold?
As I study the picture—the doorways, the floor, the light—my attention keeps returning to the thresholds. Perhaps the artist’s intent is to draw my eye upward. If so, the thresholds certainly achieve that purpose. But in all honesty, when I look at those thresholds, I see trip hazards. There needs to be a warning sign. Bear with me and you’ll understand what I mean.We spend a good part of our lives in the hallway, waiting for God to open a door. Maybe the hallway represents a health issue, financial uncertainty or a job situation. Maybe you feel like your entire life is in the hallway as you wait for God to open multiple doors. At this moment, one area of my life needs clear Divine direction. God’s been opening windows occasionally, letting in bits of light and a fresh breeze, but the door has yet to swing wide open. I’m hanging out in the hallway.
And if I don’t wait for God, if I pry open a door myself, I’m certain to trip over a threshold and fall flat on my face.
Just last week I was visiting a friend at her new house and before she could say, “Watch your step” I tripped over the threshold and made an undignified entrance into her home. Why didn’t I see the threshold? Because I’d been driving for hours. I’d consumed a lot of caffeine. I was in a hurry.
Being in a hurry can cause us to run ahead of God. And running ahead of God is never a good idea. It ensures we will trip over what we perceive to be well-thought-out, perfectly designed plans—plans that always fall short of what God wants for us.
Psalm 37:7 says to “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act” (NLT). For years, the phrases that stood out to me in this verse were “Be still” and “wait patiently.” In my mind’s eye I see a teacher instructing a group of wiggly children. Be still. Be patient. Sit down. Stop talking. Hush. Sssshhhhhhh!
That’s the message I’d always focused upon. And then one day a different phrase jumped off the page: “in the presence of the Lord.” I’m not just to be still. I’m not simply to wait patiently. I have the extraordinary opportunity to be still and to wait patiently “in the presence of the Lord.” What an incredible, wondrous phrase.
As I sit in the hallway, waiting for God to open the next door, I pray I will use the time to soak up the presence of the Lord. May I sit at His feet, listening to Him and learning all that He has to teach me. And then, whenever God chooses to open the next door, perhaps I will be able to walk through it with dignity and grace.