Sometimes life seems like an endless hallway with doors on each side. All the doors lead somewhere amazing and spectacular, but all of them are closed. I try to open some of them but they’re locked tight, Others are barred shut, allowing for no hope of entry. In my life, some of these doors are auditions that were rejected. Others are job applications I never heard back about. Many are ministry opportunities that never came to be or that I wasn’t able to be a part of because of some extenuating circumstance. Sometimes I just stand outside of one of the doors, kicking and pushing in vain. It’s no use. The door remains closed, and all I’ve done is drained myself of strength.
I went with my church’s youth group as a counselor this year. I had originally planned to work as a camp staffer, but things fell through and I took the back-up plan. (Just another one of those closed doors, I guess.) Anyway, being a counselor was pretty much the same thing as being a camper, except I told everyone when to go to bed. Before the trip I prayed for God to move and to use this for His glory. Through Twitter and Facebook, I asked others to do the same . Then on a warm Monday morning, we set out.
While we had plenty of fun, I’m going to skip right the good stuff. We had four salvations in our group alone, one re-dedication, and a large determination to live for God in all of the teens in our group. One of the kids who was saved by Jesus this past week was the first person I have ever led to Christ.
Now let’s rewind. I had started this summer planning extensively to be a staffer at the camp. When I found out that I couldn’t, I was pretty upset. To be honest, I was having a hard time trusting God. I saw all the people I knew having so much fun being staffers, and I was jealous. But God didn’t want me to be a staffer. He wanted me to be a counselor with my church’s youth group, so that I would be available when a certain kid came over to me one evening and said that he didn’t know Jesus. If I had been a staffer, I wouldn’t have had that specific, amazing opportunity to make an impact for the Kingdom of God.
God has a plan that’s a lot better than mine. Maybe He tells me no so that He can say yes to something better later on. Maybe He is going to lead me past all of the closed doors to an open door that is better than all the others combined.
There’s another closed door that I’m banging against right now. I was supposed to be a prayer leader (small group leader) at my school (Liberty University) this fall. Everything was set up. I was all set to lead a group of guys in Bible study, prayer, and discipleship. But my housing fell through because of financial issues. I wasn’t able to get a room on the hall where I was to be a prayer leader. Therefore, it’s not going to happen.
To be frank, this sucks. I was really looking forward to being part of the student leadership and discipling a group of guys. But maybe God has a plan. Maybe He wants me to be in an entirely different dorm to be salt and light there. Maybe He wants to grow me in some way I don’t understand yet. Maybe He has something better for me that I wouldn’t have been able to say yes to had I been a prayer leader on that particular hall. Or maybe He just wants me to trust Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
– Proverbs 3:5-6