I was spending time with someone recently who had it on her heart to question why, when we need it the most, our friends and family are seemingly nowhere to be found. Her face was contorted in a look of pain and she fought back to tears as she shared with me a bit of her history. She said she had been reaching out to others in an attempt to create a network of people and was experiencing difficulty in getting a connection.
I could only nod my head as my heart was asking the very same questions. It called to mind the cries of David’s heart in the Psalm 142:4-5:
Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
I believe we have all experienced the painful rejection of those we care about. From the phone calls that go unanswered, to the unanswered texts, to the empty emails, and a general lack of encouragement on all fronts…we all know very well the sting of ‘abandonment’ when we are seeking to connect or our hearts are in need of comfort.
Sometimes it feels as if we knock and knock and knock on someone’s door and they just do not open it.
I have personally been working through this and it has been challenging my heart to grow. I have been facing doubts and anxiety in several areas and I think my heart was aching for reassurance. I even got angry about it and burst into tears as I cried to my husband, “I just do not understand, sometimes!”
I grabbed the car keys and told my husband I needed to get quiet with myself and God. I can do some of my best crying, praying, and rejoicing behind the wheel, alone, and with music turned up. I have often worried what people driving past me must think about ‘that lady’ sobbing and yelling to herself!
As I started driving, I was hit with a whisper in my soul, “Are you going to drive around feeling sorry for yourself or are you going to show up for someone who needs you?”
I immediately knew exactly where I was going to go. I went to see my Grandpa.
My Grandmother died of Alzheimer’s almost three years ago and she was an important figure in my life growing up. My Grandfather was madly in love with her and he has been aching ever since she passed. He was gleefully surprised when he saw me on his porch, just showing up out of the blue. We spent over an hour sitting together and, as I started to leave, something urged me to just hug him long and hard. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and held him in my arms. I did not let him pull away. I whispered in his ear how much I loved him and I kissed his cheek. I saw in his eyes how much he needed that hug.
I feel like his heart was crying out and I had the opportunity to open the door and invite him into my heart. Then, I saw Revelation 3:20 in my mind’s eye:
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (NIV)
When someone badly needs us and their hearts are crying out, Jesus is the one knocking on our doors for them. We have all had someone on our hearts and minds at times, feeling a nudge of some sort or another. I believe that is the knocking of the soul. Other times, someone is knocking on our doors directly by reaching out in some way. We either answer the door or we do not. Whatever we do and however we respond, we are doing it and responding to Him (Matthew 25:40). This is a huge responsibility and not one that any of us should take lightly. Jesus is compassionate and He longs for us to walk in His compassion toward one another.
As I drove home, I started asking God to change my attitude and give me a richer heart of faith. I asked Him to forgive me for being self-focused and for seeking anything outside of Himself for my reassurance. I asked Him to strengthen me and teach me to stop knocking on unanswered doors and let go, but to allow me to let go in love.
By letting go I can start appreciating, on a deeper level, that God is the One who will always show up. God is my reassurance and He is the one Who steadies my feet!
By the time I pulled back into my driveway, I was feeling peace. When I saw the way my husband greeted me at the door, it hit me; my husband has always opened the door to my knocks, even in the worst of the storms. I made it a point to let my sweetheart know that I have noticed his presence, even when I tried to push away and even when I failed to acknowledge him.
I couldn’t help but think of Jesus as my beloved; the one Who left His scent on my door (Song of Solomon 5:5).
The Lord is always going to be there. We are His bride and He is the faithful Bridegroom. In fact, He wants us to know how to rely on Him and only Him. I believe when we reach that point of dependence on God, people will show up to reaffirm God’s great love for us. But, it might not come until we are willing to let go of all the unanswered doors we’ve been knocking on.
I felt such peace and security in realizing that my trust is now entirely in God. Trust and security have been difficult issues for me to contend with and there was a time I could not trust at all. There was a time I could not even trust God, because my heart was carrying too many heavy wounds. When I realized just how much God really has done for me, I felt my heart let go. I felt my heart fall into Him with complete and total trust.
Jesus is all I need to feel safe and secure and that, to me, is a miracle!
That is a huge miracle for me and I have been rejoicing in an area where I once had weeping and great pain.
And, wouldn’t you know it?
Someone answered a knock at my heart’s door and, when the door opened, I was so happy about who was standing there; my big brother.
He affirmed everything God had just been walking me through and he affirmed me with such great compassion and love. I have been experiencing more tears of joy. I cry all the time now, but this time I am crying from a place of great awe and thankfulness instead of from a place of emptiness and lifelessness.
My heart swells.
Thank YOU. I cannot stop thanking You and rejoicing. You are my stronghold and my shield! In You alone I trust!
I pray that Your Spirit will encourage believers everywhere to start showing up and keep showing up where presence is badly needed. Forgive me for the times I have focused on myself and my own needs instead of realizing how much responsibility I have to show up, too. Thank You for leading me and growing me in this area.
I am ready to answer the door for You.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
This post appears in the book: Shattered in Him © 2016 JD Mays