March 05, 2010

When God shuts a door he opens a window


hen God shuts a door he opens a window.” You’ve heard it before, right? So... where did this expression come from? I supposed we can’t really know, but here’s a theory.

Genesis 7:11-16

The earth started gushing out everywhere. The sky opened like windows, and rain poured down for forty days and nights.... On that day Noah and his wife went into the boat with their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. They took along every kind of animal, tame and wild, including the birds. Noah took a male and a female of every living creature with him, just as God had told him to do. And when they were all in the boat, God closed the door.

Remember the story of Noah? In Genesis 7 we are told that Noah did all that the Lord commanded him with regard to building the ark, putting the animals in, and gathering his family into the ark. Then the storms came. It got dark, the rain fell, and the waters began to rise. Then in verse 16 “God shut the door.”

One hundred fifty days later the water began to go down. After it had receded a decent amount Noah sent a raven out of the window. So God closed a door and opened a window.

I know. That’s not likely the origin of that phrase. But I found it interesting.

  • We tend to use the phrase when “life stinks.” Noah and his family were shut into an enclosed zoo with no chance of getting out. It probably didn’t smell all that good—at least in the area where the animals were kept.
  • We tend to use the phrase when we feel like we can’t get out of an unpleasant situation. Noah and his family were stuck inside the ark and could not get out.
  • We tend to use the phrase when life gets stormy. There never has been a storm as bad as the storm that caused the great flood.

What Is Sustaining Grace?

Not grace to bar what is not bliss
Nor flight from all distress, but this...
The grace that orders our trouble and pain
Then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.

—John Piper

Although Noah had done all the Lord had required of him, God still shut the door. But in chapter 8, “Noah opened a sindow to send out a raven.” God had provided a window, and Noah had to use it.

It might be a bit of a stretch to use this story to illustrate that the God who prepares trials for us also walks through those trials with us, but that is how this story hit me today. And whether we take the lesson from the story of Noah or elsewhere in the Bible, we know for certain that God is merciful, kind, loving, and he cares for us.

Just thought it was the proper frame of mind for today...and probably for every day.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, that was excellent!! Thanks for the reminder. I know what my facebook status is going to be today!!


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