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Today’s Truth

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:11

Friend to Friend

As a grandmother, I can testify to the importance of gates. I remember when our grandson Hudson first started walking. He was a champion crawler and he especially loved stairs. We just happened to live in a townhouse that had three flights of stairs, much to Hudson’s delight. Oh, we bought him toys, but they were nothing more than momentary distractions from his favorite toy – the stairs.

When Hudson first learned to climb up the stairs, we bought a gate to keep him from falling down those same stairs. I wondered how he would react to his new confinement. It didn’t take long to find out. When our daughter dropped him off for a visit, Hudson played with the toys I kept for him downstairs in the living room. After a few minutes, his sparkling blue eyes caught mine, and I knew what was about to happen. Yep! He made a mad dash for the stairs. Halfway up, he looked back at me with a mischievous smile as if to ask, “Are you coming, Mimi?” Laughing, I scrambled up the stairs behind him. When we reached the landing, I quickly scooped him up in my arms, put the gate in place, and sat him on the floor to play. Hudson clapped his hands and laughed … until he saw the gate.

With a look of suspicion and doubt … definitely doubt … Hudson reached out to touch the wall that separated him from his beloved stairs. He glanced back at me and seemed to ask, “What have you done, Mimi?” I tried to play the gate up as a good thing that was for his safety and protection, but Hudson was not buying one word of my cheery explanation. His chubby little hands tentatively grasped the gate as he pulled himself to his feet for a closer inspection.

I watched as our precious grandson peered through the bars of the gate to the stairs below. He then turned to stare at me in disbelief and promptly burst into tears.

He was not done.

He pulled and pushed the gate with every ounce of toddler strength he could muster, wailing in anger and frustration as he tried to dislodge his prison wall. Hudson made it crystal clear that he is not a fan of gates.

I tend to react the same way to the gates God places in my life.

I have a plan – one that I think is right. I like my plan and don’t really see the need to bother God with the details of that plan. After all, my plan is logical and could even be described as good since it fits within the parameters of Scripture. It must be His will for my life, right? So I scramble through the steps of my plan until I run smack dab into a wall or, as Hudson would call it, a gate. My first reaction is suspicion and doubt – definitely doubt – and I quickly conclude that Satan must have placed the gate there.

I try everything within my human strength to knock down the barrier to my beloved plan. The gate does not move. Frustration and anger fill my heart as I cry out to God, pleading for Him to remove the unwanted obstacle from my path. It is then that He takes me in His arms and gently explains, “Child, the gate is for your good. It is for your protection and safety.”

When will I understand that God’s plan for my life is higher and better than any plan I can possibly imagine? When will I learn to wholly trust Him? When will I realize just how much He loves me? When I look back over my life, I cannot count the number of times I first considered a closed door to be the work of Satan, only to discover it was really the hand of God protecting me or keeping me from making a terrible mistake.

How about you? Has God closed a door that you thought was the perfect opportunity? Has He placed a gate across the path that you thought was so right? Trust Him. Wait on Him. He is at work in your life.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You today, choosing to trust You. Thank You for the perfect and amazing plan You have for my life. Help me learn to trust You more. Teach me how to praise You for the doors You have closed – as well as the ones You have opened. Today, I rest in Your unfailing love for me and lean wholly on You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Look back over your life. Pinpoint five “gates” God placed in your path that you now see are for your good. Record them in your journal. Thank God for each one.

Read and memorize Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” Record this verse in your journal. Circle all of the action words. Which ones of these actions do you need to take? I would love to hear how God increases your faith. Email me or share your story on my Facebook page.

More from the Girlfriends

Mary’s book, 10-Day Trust Adventure, will help you surrender every part of your life to God. This decision is the basis for you to truly trust God. Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through E-mail, Twitter, Instagram, Shopify, or on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Please Open the Gate”

  1. julie says:

    trust and seeking God esp. now when there is some stuff going on with me health wise. also to trust on His timing on Him to place the right child with my hubby and i as foster parents if it meant to be.

  2. Rita says:

    Thank you Julie for your commitment to children in need. I think that it is awesome that you and your husband are fostering. I will definitely keep you in my prayers, and I will also be praying for the child that God is entrusting to you. He will make sure that you get the one that he wants you to have, as I believe he already knows which child will be in your care.

  3. Rita says:

    I need to take the action of submit. I cannot full submit without trusting God full heartedly, and I am not trusting him when I still suffer with picking up the same old sins from the foot of the cross and carrying them to remind me that I made that mistake. Instead I need to trust God to help me not to commit the same sins again, stop letting the devil whisper condemnation into my ear, and act like I know the truth that Jesus died to forgive me of it, before I did it, while he knew I was going to fail in this area.

  4. Pat says:

    This touched my heart in such a personal and grateful way because sometimes we blame Satan for when we can’t have our way in plans but God, our heavenly Father knows what is best-even if He doesn’t tell us the reasons. We must trust Him and take our hands off of things. I believe God is teaching me this so much in how I use my energy (or lack) and desire to help others. God has a call & plan for our lives and we must learn that and focus on what God wants! Ephesians 2:10 I have a friend dying of cancer and am trying to know how to communicate with her and live with what I know will be the end here on earth.

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