God’s Perfect Plan (Lessons From Closed Doors)

It is foaling season on our ranch!

We have been keeping a faithful eye on our mares…

But unfortunately watching them doesn’t seem to make those foals come any quicker:D

In fact, while I know it isn’t true, it seems like the more we watch them, the longer they take to arrive.

Take for example, one of our mares named Pepsi.  We have been quite confident that she was going to foal any day…but, as one mare foaled and then another…

Pepsi waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Day after day went by, and still no baby…

Until this morning!

We discovered a beautiful palomino filly by her side.  This little one is affectionately known as Mist.

Now, what we didn’t know – as we have been impatiently waiting for the past few weeks for this mare to foal – God was unfolding His perfect plan.  He had a purpose for allowing this foal to wait until today to arrive.

For this week, a favorite cat to one of our daughters went missing.

And when a favorite cat disappears…

It isn’t easy.

But on the heels of this event…

My daughter’s long awaited foal arrived:D

In God’s perfect time.

This week I have been thinking on the story of how God used closed doors to direct the steps of Paul and Silas through the open door that brought them to Philippi, by which He then allowed circumstances that brought them to the locked bars of a prison cell, where instead of trying to beat down the doors and get out, they chose to pray and sing hymns to God.

And then, as Paul and Silas were singing praises to God, Acts 16:26 records that there was a violent earthquake…so extensive that the foundations of the prison were shaken…

And guess what?

Immediately all the prison doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed!

But curiously enough, Paul and Silas didn’t run out of the prison…

Neither did any of the other prisoners.

Why not?

Here was the open door that would have allowed them to leave the closed door that they had been locked behind…

Yet, they waited.

Isn’t that a curious thing to do when the doors have been opened?  I am not sure if I would have sat there waiting…

In fact, if I had been sitting in a prison cell, and the doors opened and my chains were loosened I am quite sure that my understanding of that situation would have led me to leave that prison cell…

ASAP!

Yet, for Paul and Silas, this was not the case.  They were not trusting in their human understanding of the situation.  They were trusting in the One who had been directing their steps all along the way…

Past closed doors, through open doors and behind prison bars.

As they spent time singing praises to God, acknowledging Him in their ways, the thoughts of their hearts and minds were not focused on how to get out of the prison.

They were focused on God, the Sovereign One, who had a plan and a purposes that He was unfolding…

Plans that included something much greater than getting them released from prison…although this was part of God’s plan:D

And so, when the prison doors opened and their chains fell off, they did not go racing through the open door that was before them.

They waited…

For God to unfold His perfect plan in His perfect timing and way!

What did God’s plan include?

The salvation of the Philippian jailer and his household (Acts 16:25 – 34).

Psalm 32:8, 9 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.  Do not be like the horse or the mule which have no understanding, but must be controlled by the bit and the bridle or they will not come to you.”

God works within us to will and to act according to His good purposes (Philippians 2:13).  He is going to instruct us (give us insight to understand) in the steps He is teaching (to point in a specific direction) us to take.  With His loving eye on us, He has promised to continue to give us counsel (give guidance) as He directs our steps.

God’s plans and purposes that He is unfolding in our lives are so much bigger than we can see with our limited vision.  Even when we don’t comprehend His ways, we can be assured that just as He did with Paul and Silas, He will teach us, instruct us and guide our steps, so that we can understand what He wants us to know.  He will do this so that we can – with believing hearts, willing minds and obedient feet – follow Him where He leads us.

With Him as our Good Shepherd we can bump into closed doors without discouragement….

We can walk with confidence through the doors He has opened before us…

We can sing praises as we wait in tight placed where we find ourselves behind locked doors…

And, when He directs us we can wait patiently before going through the open door that He has set before us…

For He will be accomplishing His perfect plans…

In His perfect time.

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