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When Doors Don’t Open


Gwen Smith

May 27, 2016

Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Grace, Parenting, Trials

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The morning had been hectic and they were running late because the baby needed a last minute diaper change. Tara needed to get all three kiddos loaded up and to the car pool location quickly, but for some strange reason the back doors of her van would not open. She tried her clicker. She tried the key. She tried jiggling the lock.

Anxiousness started to well up in her heart.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” She grumbled loudly while trying to open the back doors of her minivan. “This is NOT what I need right now!”

The kids began to sense the tension and take on the stress for their own.

“What’s wrong, mommy?”

“The back doors aren’t opening and we’re gonna be late! That’s what’s wrong!”

Pressed for time and strongly annoyed, Tara told the kids to get in through the front door and had them crawl back to settle into their car seats. As she started the car she was aware of her agitation and didn’t like it.

Taking a deep breath, Tara began to recognize the stress for what it was. She remembered the Bible verse that is written on the chalkboard in their kitchen. Spoken from the lips of Jesus Himself, the words flooded her heart…

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Yes. They were having trouble getting a few doors open, but it was nothing that Jesus couldn’t help her handle. Calmed and cooled by the red-lettered love, Tara made an empowered decision … and a very cool minivan ministry moment followed that went something like this:

“Okay, guys! Here we go!” Tara began. “That was a bit stressful and I’m sorry for raising my voice. I’m not sure why the doors didn’t open, but we aren’t going to let it mess up our day. We can choose to let this situation get the best of us, or we can get the best of the situation by asking God to bring peace to our anxiousness. Remember the verse on the kitchen chalkboard? Jesus said that in this world we’re going to have trouble. Sometimes doors don’t open, but He’ll help us! Jesus told us to “take heart” because He has overcome the world.”

Then, from the back of the van her eight-year-old theologian son piped up and joined the sacred conversation.

“Yeah! And Jesus said that He’ll never leave us or forsake us. God is always with us, mom!”

From. The. Lips. Of. A. Child.

God is always with us.

What began as a chaotic and stressful drive to school became a celebration of the presence of God. It was a devotion-on-wheels that began with a door that wouldn’t open. A beautiful memory that started with stress but was changed by the grace of Jesus, our Overcomer.

Sometimes doors don’t open for us. We don’t always get the position we want, the response we want, the admiration we want, or the health we want. But with every closed door comes an opportunity of response. When Tara invited God into her frustration and opened her heart to His presence the tension transitioned to peace.

Tara boys

Tara Sarah

A few minutes after the “stuck door debacle” they arrived at the carpool line to pick up the other children. Tara figured she’d try again. She pressed the button to unlock the back doors, and this time they opened with no resistance.

A smile spread across her face as this thought danced in Tara’s mind. If the back doors had opened a few moments earlier, we would’ve lost the opportunity to celebrate God’s peace and our time of sacred conversation would never have happened.

With that in mind she thanked God for the doors that didn’t open as she drove the kids to school.

I don’t always respond perfectly in stressful situations. And Tara readily admits that she doesn’t either. But when we choose to turn our frustrations and disappointments over to God He gives us the grace we need to experience His peace in the midst of pressure.

Lord, Thank You for reminding me that You are dependable, available, and willing to help at all times. Please guide me toward Your grace when I grumble. Teach me to turn to You when I’m stressed so that others would see Your joy and peace in me. In Jesus’ name, amen.



Read Psalm 37. What verses in the chapter resonate with your heart today? Grab your journal and a pen and write a prayer of response. Not a journal girl? No worries. Swing over to my blog or Facebook page and write it there!

Thanks for doing life with me! Have an incredible weekend, friend.






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About Gwen Smith

Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.


29 responses to “When Doors Don’t Open”

  1. Yvonna M. Lucas says:

    I am waiting for God to place me in the right job. The one I have now is a bit much for me. I work with very lovely people, but the job itself is a little more than I can handle. I started out great then kept making mistakes and I don’t know why. But I know that God is my shield and my rear guard. Whatever happens will be for my good. I am praying that He places me in the right job where I can shine and do the best job that I can and also be a good witness for him.

  2. Deborah Lucas says:

    OMG we (my hubby and I) have been waiting for the door to open for us for 3 years now… I have not lost faith. But my dear husband, dear Lord has kept us going and thriving. Miracles have happened for us and I think God has been trying to teach us lesson after lesson. Through it all, we have kept the faith and will continue to do so, even when things get bleak we will ‘weather the storms’ together with God leading the way through them all. God bless you for sharing your troubles with us and how you and your children received a blessing through it.

  3. Judy says:

    I had a problem opening a door this morning and became angry and frustrated making matters only worse. Then fear of what might come took hold of me. I so appreciate the reading this morning it was so meant for my situation – I gave Satan just enough space to step in not leaving God to take care of everything. He is with me and will never fore sake me – how could I forget that knowing that he only wants the very best for me. Thanks be to my HOLY FATHER

  4. Babalwa Tlali says:

    Today on the 29 May something happened at my husbands working a certain took away his spectacle’s we don’t know if it was intentional or a mistake.through that devotion of doors not opening won’t let the evil one still my joy I also repeated the same scripture as anger was taking control.I refused to be offended I know God will make a way and His will be done.thank you for this devotionals.

  5. Sometimes I feel like I am banging My head against the wall.
    I feel like I am just floating along not sure where I’m going , sometimes it seems like God has gone silent with me . But I am reminded and reassured by the verse..He will never leave me nor forsake me.

  6. Latarsha says:

    I am in the process of waiting on my door to open he said it would be now God I thank you for the doors that you have opened but father i need you now God to step in and help father you know me and my families struggle I ask Can you place us in our destiny and let your will be done in Jesus Name Amen.

    Have A Bless Day God Bless

  7. Deanna Thompson says:

    Your devotion truly blessed me today. I’ve been applying for work since 2012. I was turned down for another position today. The Lord spoke to me and reminded me that I’m still being taught how to be still and wait, patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7).

    Thank you Lord for Your School of Faithfulness. Lord, I love and worship You. You, Who are my Redeemer are Mighty, Sovereign and Immutable and Bigger than any circumstance. I adore You. I praise and bless Your Name Father. In the Holy Name of Jesus. I say Amen!

  8. Karen Derhammer says:

    Father, thank you for your word. It is my Refuge and my hiding place for peace. Thank you for your promise to always being by my side. Thank you for calming my anxious mind.
    Please help me to remember to call upon you during these stressful days ahead.
    I love you
    Your Daughter ♡

  9. Susie says:

    Such good reminders of God’s faithfulness and love for us. If we could just learn to trust him more with all of our needs. He is faithful!!!

  10. Penney Gray says:

    Father, it is not about us. It is all about YOU! Thank You for allowing us to experience Your peace which is beyond our understanding. You always go before us and meet us wherever we are. Because of Your awesomeness, we get to experience Your joy and peace. Frustrations come but they also go and when we lean on You at those times, the smiles are valuable because we know where our blessings come from and to Whom we belong. Thank You for the message today and everyday. We are who we are because of You. Bless these women who allow themselves to be used by You greatly. Continue to give them wisdom to be able to share with us. Guard their hearts and minds.

  11. Roslyn says:

    LORD, YOU know better than anyone, better than I could even explain, what is going on with me right now. LORD Thank YOU for reminders that you will never leave me or forsake me! Thanks for the reminders that everything has a season and this trouble won’t last always! Thanks for the reminder that the One who brought me is able to bring me! Thank YOU LORD that even in the midst of my storm, I am not alone! LORD just Thank YOU for YOUR Word says “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread!” Because YOU are my Shepherd, my needs are already met! Thank YOU LORD!


  12. Jessie says:

    I truly needed to hear this as I was feeling anxious and frustrated over smog testing and tag renewal for my car. Thanks you for reminding me that in any situation, whether small or large….God is concerned and He has promised never to leave me nor forsake me.

  13. Jehrica says:

    Dear Precious Heavenly Father, thanks be unto Your Holy, Perfect NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES, HALLELUJAH! You have been closing doors that I thought you would open but I know that Your ways are so much better than mine! Please LORD, bring us all to the place of peace past understanding. To the land of total trust in You alone,
    In Jesus’ Holy Name, amen!
    Psalm 91:14-15
    “14 “Because he loves Me,” says the Lord , “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my Name. 15 He will call on Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”
    Amen ☆

  14. Karma says:

    Dear Heavenly,

    Thank you for your love and faith in me. Thank you for placing in my heart to need to get the word out about the importance of having a relationship with you.

    I need your help Lord, in this continuous upward battle of receiving approval of my dissertation. It seems that the person who is receiving my proposal is at odds and does not know you nor does he or she believe in your power and the necessity to have you and your power in the lives of people seeking spiritual care while recovering.

    Help me to articulate my words and find additional updated literature to support my thesis and direction. I’ve been at this for awhile and have gained approval from everyone on my team but this one person. I don’t know what else to do at this point and which direction to turn.

    I don’t want to give up because I believe that satan is behind this. Please show yourself Lord, and help me to address these concerns so that I may gain approval and move forward with my dissertation with the topic of ” A Modified Study of How Nurses Meet Patients’Spiritual Care Needs”. Patients need you, they need people in hospital settings that are caring for them , caring for them with the fruits of the spirit.

    Father please place in my midst your power and your will to overcome this obstacle so that my proposal will gain approval.

    Father it is in your name that I pray this prayer!

  15. Thanks for your devotion! I needed to hear that today! Although a little behind on reading the daily devotions, God always seems to put what I need to hear, where and when I need to hear it! Have a blessed day!

  16. Barbata says:

    I am waiting on my apartment to move in. Me and daughter are homeless. It had not happened yet. We got approved for a housing programand tje counselor in charge of my case. Seems to be notcontavting usi got a little. Frustrated. The Lord told me to trust him and i had peace about it

  17. Pam Cook says:

    I am also facing a closed door. Thank you for this today!!!! I know God is with us every day and can handle all situations for us….I just have to let go and let him handle it 🙂

  18. Gabrielle Jordan says:

    Sometimes doors literally don’t open, as in Tara’s case, or we can’t find
    our keys, etc. What if that delay is God ordained, to stop us from
    coming in contact with another car that would have caused an accident?
    We will never know, but God is good…..He knows!

  19. Lawren Griffin says:

    My heart is sad, hurting, and my mind is racing, for a whole year I’ve worked really hard in this housing program called Milwaukee Habitat For Humanity right when it got really close to close debt popped up causing a delay I was given 90 days to clean up my debt one week, the next week I was terminated through an email. I lost my big beautiful blessing, my home.

  20. Juli says:

    I am also facing doors that won’t open, in my marriage. About a year ago my husband decided he no longer wanted to be married, but he does not want a divorce. He is unwilling to do anything to rebuild our marriage, he just says he wants me to wait until his youngest child graduates next year. This is a second
    Marriage for both of us. I know the Enemy is trying to destroy our marriage, and I have felt so anxious, and afraid so many times. However, God is with me, and He has already won the battle. I keep bringing the pain, heartache and frustration to Him, and although I don’t understand, He has given me peace. He has provided for me in amazing ways, and given me support and renewed Godly friendships through this Valley! I am so much closer in my relationship with Him! God did my cause this, but He is using it!

  21. cheryl weaver says:

    I enjoy the girlfriends of God so much. Every morning I look forward to reading your devotionals and having it apply to my life. Thank you all

  22. Cindie says:

    Thank you for sharing this real life event. Healing has not come for my husband but I am choosing to be thankful it is not worse. God wants us to glorify Him even when we do not feel so great. I am thankful for His plan.

  23. Pamela Newton says:

    Love this devotional! I’m sending to my 4 daughters! God bless

  24. Bev says:

    This is my third encounter with a tumor diagnosis , each time waiting for results . I can only believe God is teaching me patience and showing me more peace and calm while trusting him through each storm .

  25. And Tuesday, I made a call to Florida blue and then to healthcare.gov because I had been paying a billing statement since February that I finally realized I should not have been pain. So, I have been paying twice for my health premiums. One through my employer and the other through the government healthcare system. When I started to talk with a representative of the government healthcare system, I started to get upset. I do not do well with paperwork and money issues. I just lose it. When my husband was alive, he used to take these things from me and take care of them. Now, all I have is the Lord. I pray and I believe he will fix it. Psalm 37 was so very encouraging to me and right on spot for this week.

  26. Simone Roman says:

    I can definitely identify with this lesson! I’ve been a makeup artist for a few years and I’ve not experienced the success that I’ve always wanted. My biggest frustration is to see girls who are younger than me and have been in the makeup industry for a shorter time period than I pass me like the speed of lightning. I sometimes feel like the doors of success is slammed shut and sealed. There are times when I get upset because I’ve worked so hard in this industry and I’ve not experienced half of what these “newbies” are experiencing. All I can do is just put my trust in God, and push harder. The door of success will open sooner than I think.

  27. Susan Roach says:

    Great devotion and reminder. This also reminds me that His ways are higher than my ways and God (ephesied) causes EVERYTHING to work together for the good of those who love God AND are called according to His purpose for Him. Wow His promises are amazing and they never change!!! Have a blessed day sisters of royalty?

  28. Kelly says:

    Thank you for putting it in perspective. Doors are opening, but few and far between. The burden is overwhelming and my problem is I try to carry it instead of relying on my Father. Proverbs 19:21

  29. Linda says:

    I am facing doors that seemingly won’t open right now, thanks for reminding me of what I already know, He has promised never to leave or forsake me. He who promised is faithful!!

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