“And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.” Isaiah 25:12
The imagery of doors I introduced last week developed further, and I realized that if I failed or even delayed to face these difficult decisions—these doorways—they would become something more imposing.
They would become walls.
Walls become more enduring barriers and must be removed; they cannot simply be opened like doors. If doorways were left unaddressed, they could become solid walls. Strongholds. Dangerous barriers. Infections in my soul.
As I walked through door after door, I have found myself on several occasions facing the door from the inside of my marriage looking out. There were doors to force open to walk into pain, but there were other doors from which to walk out, as well. The daunting realization rising within me is I had to walk out of the door of my marriage. A painful door, indeed. Avoid these doors and walls appear.
One such occasion was after revisiting Bar Harbor, Maine. I stayed in the very cottage where Kim and I stayed thirty-six years before. As I completed my visit to Maine and prepared to head to the airport, I realized I was walking out the door of my cottage. It was so much more than just a simple door of a cottage. I was taking another step—walking out a door—in the journey to say goodbye. I was walking out another door representing a wonderful marriage. I had packed and was standing at the cottage door. I hesitated. I turned back to the room, and I quietly said, “Goodbye, Kim.” Familiar tears came for another visit to my eyes. These doors are painful but necessary. They must be met with courage. Or walls will rise up.
Call it a fear of fear, but I dug deep for the courage to face difficult doorways ahead of me. Mostly. I realized I needed to prevent the formation of walls. Worrisome walls.
As I’ve thought through this imagery of doors, I have been reminded that Jesus used the same imagery. Different message, but it was a door all the same.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Admittedly, my scenario is very different than opening a door to Jesus’ offer of salvation; however, Jesus uses the imagery of a door that we must open to him. It’s similar when facing grief and loss. Opening the doors is our responsibility. There are painful doors that must be opened. For every courageous step I took to open a door, it was as if Jesus joined me and comforted me. The door that I opened to him years ago, helped me face these daunting doorways.
“Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease…” Charles Wesley, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”
Grace met grief. Beauty met pain. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Doors must be opened, and worrisome walls must be avoided. He will walk with us through every door of pain.
I am so grateful he invited me to open that first door, the door of salvation. He now gives me courage to walk through every painful door so that I avoid worrisome walls.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6