|[Image by Djjohnmonreal]|
Many times we want to scream at God and ask Him why. Many times we just want to pull out our hair and roll on the floor writhing in pain. These are some questions that might pop in your brain:
"Lord, why did I miss that golden opportunity? I could be so much more than I am right now. Why was the door shut against my face? I worked so hard for this. Why me?"
His Eyes are Bigger Than the Slammed Door (What Happened to Paul's Crew):
What we don't know is that His eyes can see so much farther than we can. Take a look at the poor disciples. In Acts 16: 6 Paul and his crew (Silas and Timothy) were on fire and they were just traveling from one place to the other preaching. I can imagine the smiles on their faces when Paul suggested that they go to Asia to spread God's love. ASIA? Sweet. Silas and Timothy must have been hopping from one feet to the other in sheer joy. I mean, who wouldn't want to go to Asia?
Take it from someone who loves traveling. I love traveling. One day I want to travel around the world. One day I want to meet people of such different cultures and way of life than I already know. And when the opportunity comes, I want to also tell them about a God who loved me so much that He gave His life for me on a cross. A love so magnetizing that I can feel its pull in every area of my life. It makes me blush. So yes, I can imagine how excited they were to travel to Asia, even if it wasn't via first class on an airplane.
Can you guess what happened? The bible says, "they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia." They probably planned it and their plans failed (that's how they knew God wasn't in it). Okay, fine...they dealt with it. They moved on. They began planning another trip to an interesting place called Bithynia (nice name). So they diverted all their energy and resources from the Asia plan to the Bithynia plan. They spent many days booking the ships they would sail on, employing the captain of the ship, buying food and medical supplies, and most of all studying the scrolls and meditating on the words passed down by Jesus. In the midst of their planning, can you guess what happened again? The bible says, "the spirit did not permit them to preach in Bithynia." WHATTTTT? After all that planning? "Lord, we just want to do your work," they must have cried out to God. In fact, Paul might have thought maybe they were doing something wrong.
What The Problem Really Was (Lack of Direction):
Anyway, many days after that, they decided to just go to Troas instead. Just as they were travelling, Paul had a vision where he saw a man standing and saying, "Please come and help us in Macedonia." Now, people please take a look at this map with me and see the places I've circled in red ---> Asia, Bithynia, and Macedonia (their current location is on the arrow --> Phrygia.)
|[Map from Net.bible.org]|
If they had squandered all their energies and resources on Asia or Bithynia, it would have been extremely difficult for them to cross the Aegean sea to Macedonia where the people really needed them. See how big the Aegean sea is on the map? It was better that the Holy Spirit shut the door of opportunity on their faces and opened the doors for them to go to Macedonia instead, because Macedonia was the place God was really calling them to go to, not Asia or Bithynia.
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What About You?
So let's say a door is slammed on your face, what do you do? You should rejoice. Your Father has His eyes on you. He wrote your past, present, and future...and His eyes are big enough to see exactly where you're needed. Let's not cry when doors of opportunities are shut, instead let's spend the time we have in prayer and in strengthening ourselves for the next best opportunity that will come our way ---> our own Macedonia, where we're really needed.
Question for the Day: Are there any lost opportunities in your life that you're mad at God for right now? God spoke to me through my reading of this chapter. He said, "Jaycee, just chill...I've got your back. A bigger opportunity is coming your way--> your Macedonia (not Asia or Bithynia). Forget about the door being slammed on your face. There's a reason." And I got it! Ditto! Lol.