I always find the nearest exit when I’m in a hotel or a theater. I’m not sure why it’s so important in those places in particular, but I relax when my escape route is clear. I was reminded of that habit as I looked for the nearest exit for my heart for the second time this week. God opens and closes doors when it comes to my heart, but He also allows me to do the same. It’s a beautiful example of the freedom He gives as I walk in His kingdom. He showed me this morning that forgiveness is His escape route of choice. It is very near, but pride and fear keep me from opening it and allowing His healing to come in.
Lillyann is three and fascinated by shutting her door and locking it so Mylah cannot come into her room. I’m the same way at times when it comes to forgiveness and find myself in the same position as Lillyann did yesterday. She decided to go into mommy and daddy’s room and lock the door. I told her she could stay in there while Mylah and I played if she wanted to. In her hurry to get out, she found she couldn’t get the door open. There was a very brief moment of fear as she worked on the knob. I let her try to open it because I knew she needed to know how. It only took one more try before she got it open. She was both relieved to get out and happy that she opened it herself. I thought of her this morning as God reminded me to be careful about closing and locking doors. I can’t move on if I shut myself in or allow fear from keep me in or out of a place.
It’s necessary to move forward, and that may mean wiping the dust off my feet and not returning, but I’ve had enough locked doors and enough dust to last a lifetime. Like Lillyann, I sometimes want to shut a door and lock it, but like her, I quickly miss what’s going on without me:) God placed those in my path this week who have hurt me deeply and broken my heart. Coming face to face with them is the only way to deal effectively with the hurt, and God knows I need to do that. He also knows I need to unlock the door myself. The truth puts pretense in its place and allows the heart to let go of the need to retaliate. It’s what forgiveness is all about, and God reminded me this morning that forgiving as Christ is the nearest exit when it comes to my heart. It enables me to truly let go and be who God wants me to be.
Taking the exit God desires is never easy, but it brings me nearer to Him-right where I want to be. I got caught up in frustrations and fears yesterday, and I didn’t like what I saw or felt. When that happens, I know I’m off center and need to take the nearest exit and get right back where I belong. It doesn’t take much of a whirlwind to throw my heart off balance, but God offers an entrance to His presence if I’ll take the nearest exit find my way back to Him. He also knows it’s best for me to learn how to unlock that door myself:)