Closed Doors and Frustrated Dogs (What Does God Use to Get YOUR Attention?)

by Andy Wood on March 3, 2010

in LV Cycle, Tense Truths, Waiting

Riley and Rusty and a Closed Door

It all started a few weeks ago when I noticed something about Gracie, my dog wannabe.  As the house queen in her own eyes, Gracie likes to keep her options open.  In other words, she can’t stand closed doors.  Any closed door.  It’s not so much that she wants or needs what’s on the other side.  She just likes having options.

And so do I.

I love opportunities and the capacity to dream.  And get frustrated when a door closes in my face, or somewhere else.

All that led to a half-baked observation a couple of weeks ago:  “Even my dog hates closed doors.”

And that led to a well-thought-out meditation from my sister Debbie Hughes about dogs, doors, and why and how we (people, that is) experience them.

So if you’ve had your share of frustrations or disappointments, keep reading… this is from her, for you:


Even my dogs hate closed doors, but they’re not smart enough to realize that a closed door has two sides and they get to enjoy the benefits of one of those just because, even though they mess up my floors, cause me to lose sleep and shrink my bank account, somehow I just love them.

I am the door closer and I do it with good reason.  I’m closing the door to prevent them from making bad choices, to protect them from harm, or so they can fulfill their purpose in our family.  (How’s that for a 3 point sermon all beginning with p – how long have I been in a Baptist church??)

I close a door to keep my overweight older dog in the room where I provide the food that best meets his needs.  This also prevents him from eating the puppy food in the room where my puppy eats.  If he had access to that little bowl of calories the puppy needs, he would have a blistful dining experience eating the puppy chow, but it could cost him his health.  The puppy would also love eating the adult dog’s food on the other side of his door, but again, it would not provide him with the nutrients a puppy needs.

My front door stays closed to my dogs for their protection, too.  On the safe side of that door is warmth, comfort, and those who love them.  On the other side of that door is a street where cars don’t always stop for short little dogs they can’t see.   There is also a very large bird living nearby – “seeking whom he may devour” – like one of the unfortunate squirrels my husband saw him carry away to his treetop nest.  That is not to say, however, that they never get to enter that “outside world” – but they only go through the front door with a leash I am firmly gripping and through the back door when we’re keeping a close eye on them.   They have no idea.  They’re dogs.  We’re not.

In my mind, my dog’s purpose is companionship, entertainment, and protection for our family.   They also fulfill our need to take care of someone/something that depends on us.  Their purpose(s) cannot be filled if they go through doors not intended for them.  Their health, safety, and presence are dependent on doors we use to “constrain” them.

When God closes a door denying me access to something I think I want, I have to remember His wisdom and His love for me – that He is God and I am not.  When God wants me to enter an area outside of my “comfort zone”, He is certainly the one holding my leash, guiding me to the right places & people.  When God’s purpose for my life involves walking through a door, returning through an old doorway, or being locked out of a door, I have to look around at the side of the door where His providence has brought me and get on with living that purpose.  I am thankful for the love of God that both constrains me and opens doors for me.

Revelation 3:7 (The Message)

Write this to Philadelphia, to the Angel of the church. The Holy, the True—David’s key in his hand, opening doors no one can lock, locking doors no one can open—speaks:

“I see what you’ve done. Now see what I’ve done. I’ve opened a door before you that no one can slam shut. You don’t have much strength, I know that; you used what you had to keep my Word. You didn’t deny me when times were rough.  “And watch as I take those who call themselves true believers but are nothing of the kind, pretenders whose true membership is in the club of Satan—watch as I strip off their pretensions and they’re forced to acknowledge it’s you that I’ve loved.  “Because you kept my Word in passionate patience, I’ll keep you safe in the time of testing that will be here soon, and all over the earth, every man, woman, and child put to the test.  “I’m on my way; I’ll be there soon. Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Eric Chaffin March 3, 2010 at 6:51 am

All of the closed doors–and believe me, I have had plenty slammed in my face–guide us to the one door God would have us walk through. That is the door to abundant life. (John 10:10) Nice thoughts to start my day. Thanks.

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