Sometimes God shows off when he’s answering your prayers. He comes straight through the front door—bold, undeniable, in your face.
You knock, and the door opens.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Other times you pound on the door of heaven—asking, begging, pleading for a miracle. You plant yourself on his doorstep, vowing not to budget until you get the answer you came for. You stay the night, alternating between shouting loud enough to wake the neighborhood and whispering your desperation through the keyhole.
He told you to knock, so you knock.
He told you to ask, so you ask.
For a job.
For a child.
For a way out of the darkness.
And sometimes you get the storybook ending. The front door flings wide open. Prayers are answered. Miracles happen. Dreams are fulfilled. Hopes are quenched.
But there are other times when the front door remains firmly shut. Day after day passes, followed by night after silent night. Your knocking seems to go unheard—or unheeded. Before long your voice is hoarse and your arms lack the strength to even reach the door knocker.
Spent and prayerless, you slump on the front porch.
My friend Mary moved from the Midwest to Florida several years ago to become a full-time caregiver for her mother, who was suffering from dementia and could no longer live alone. She was glad to be able to help her mom after her mom had done the same for her, but she missed her job and her friends back home. The homesickness for the Midwest struck particularly in the fall. I wish I could see some fall colors, she thought wistfully one October day.
That evening, at the end of a long day of caring for her mother, their role reversal becoming more evident with each passing day, Mary took a rare moment to stand on the balcony. Before her eyes the sunset sky was filled with the colors of home—sugar-maple red, poplar yellow, feisty orange.
It wasn’t the beauty she’d been looking for, but it was beautiful. It was enough.
Sometimes God’s answers come through the back door.
He heals a soul instead of a body. He doesn’t remove the darkness; he reminds you he’s in it with you. He says no, but he says it in love. He sends a fall scene in the unexpected from of a sunset.
Whatever it is you are knocking about today, know that the blessing will come. The answer will come. But don’t forget to check the back door too.