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Okay, so don’t stone me for the title before you hear me out.  And understand that I’m not advocating a quitter mentality.

But I believe sometimes we try to push through doors that are closed to us when they’re not only locked, but deadbolted.  We’re a little hard-hearted or hard-headed or blind or slow to catch on.  Whatever it is, something just doesn’t click. We push and we dig and we refuse to give up until we’ve gained entry.

Only once we’re inside we realize we need to get out of there…fast.

I believe in determination and perseverance.  I think a healthy dose of elbow grease and fortitude has served many a man (and woman) well.  But there is such a thing as greasing a pan without having anything to bake.  And then the grease is wasted.

I’m right there with you.  It’s hard to tell when a door has been closed for only a moment and when it’s been shut tight.  It’s confusing to know when to search for the key or when to simply look for a different door.  I’m not a big believer in climbing through windows…I think that’s more of an escape route when you’ve pushed through to where you don’t belong.

So how are we to know?  How can we determine what a situation calls for?  Gideon used a fleece but does God still answer like that today?

I believe He does.  I believe He will.

When we were looking for a house at the end of last year, we learned an invaluable lesson in this area.  We were on a tight schedule with only a small window to get moved.  We had to find something and we pretty quickly decided our best option was to buy a house.  So we began the search.  And we landed ourselves at a house that seemed perfect and attainable.

We wasted no time in making an offer and barely haggled at all before it was accepted.  It seemed like God was smiling down on our path so we kept walking.  Until we came up against a rock.

A few things came up in the inspection.  We sidestepped the rock by negotiating a bit more, which is perfectly reasonable in real estate.  But then we hit a boulder.

The bank didn’t like our loan.  It took a little more doing, but we found our way to the other side and breathed a momentary sigh of relief.  Momentary, because the ground was about to drop out from under us.

The buyers were playing dirty and we were one step from getting our feet muddied in unethical waters.  The proverbial door had slammed shut.

Now we could have kept banging away, demanding to be let in.  And eventually, we probably could have worked things out to buy that house.  But we made the scarier choice to accept that it wasn’t God’s will and since there was no more time to purchase a house, we started looking for one to rent.

I’m gonna tell you, those weeks felt like a year.  We were ambushed by homeowners who refused to consider us as possible tenants because of our family size.  Some even hung up on us.  It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t where we wanted to be.

We finally accepted the fact that there was no home for us and we’d have to seek shelter with my kindhearted parents.  It was going to leave us a state away from my husband, but if it’s what the Lord was willing, then it was the path we’d walk.  (I cried, just so you know that I’m entirely human!)

And then, in the eleventh hour, we were given a home.  It worked out seamlessly and we moved in under a week.

You might say that we kept pressing on, determining not to give up which would be in direct contradiction to what I’m telling you to do. But what you may have missed is that while our circumstances still demanded we needed to find a home, we were asked to lay aside our personal agendas in that hunt.  If we had stood stubbornly before door number one, negotiating with the devil (figuratively speaking) to get us what we wanted, we may well have ended up with it.  And then we’d have likely spent years trying to get out of the mess we allowed him to create.

Clearly, I’m not suggesting we just throw up our hands in defeat at the first sign of resistance.  But don’t throw a battering ram at a wall placed by God only to have it come back and hit you instead of the wall.  Keep your eyes wide open, your ears carefully tuned and your heart soft…He will speak to you if only you’ll listen for His quiet voice.