At the end of an evening at one of the centres, I went upstairs to my room, made a couple of phone calls, packed a few things for going home after the next morning’s teaching and got ready for bed. I fancied a cup of tea, but I’d run out of teabags. “No problem”, I thought. There was a supply just the other side of my bedroom door, conveniently placed for everyone to help themselves.
Imagine my dismay, when I turned the door handle, only to find it wouldn’t budge! I was locked in my room. I could see the latch bolt was firmly slid across into the door frame. I tried and tried but the door knob just would not move, there was no key and, in fact as far as I could see, no keyhole anyway.
I felt it was too late to phone (or shout) to alert anyone, and reasoned to myself that, if I hadn’t wanted a cup of tea, I wouldn’t even know I was locked in. So, I prayed, asking the Lord to keep us all safe from any fire, and decided to put my trust firmly in Him.
But, as soon as I got into bed, my mind began to think ahead to the next morning … how could I be released? I’d phone reception. But there was no keyhole … so no key. They’d have to try and release the lock somehow … or maybe they’d have to break the door down. “Oh dear!” I thought, “This is awful. And it might take a while. What about the teaching?” Of the two people who would normally have stood in for me … one was fully occupied packing to move house the next day, and the other had a nasty bug and really wasn’t very well. I thought perhaps I could write out instructions for a creative activity, and pass it under the door, so that the guests would have something to engage in, in the absence of any teaching. All kinds of thoughts were rushing through my mind!
Eventually I went to sleep, but as soon as I woke the next morning I was anxious to make the phone call, convinced by then that the door would definitely need to be broken down … but what about the fire door mechanism? At 7.59, I picked up the phone, and the person at the other end, calmly said, “Leave it with me”. Within minutes I heard a gentle knock on the door, the jangling of keys, a sliding back of the lock, and the door swung open.
What a lesson! I’d prayed the night before. I’d vowed I’d put my trust in God. But then I’d proceeded to give in to doubt and unbelief and gone through mental gymnastics working out my own plan, when it turned out to be a simple matter of a master key being turned in a lock I couldn’t see.
Being stuck in my room in the very safe place that an Ellel Centre is, was really no big deal, but what about when we find ourselves in really hard circumstances? You might be facing real difficulties in your life today. I believe the Lord wants to reassure us, that, even though it might seem to us, on a human level, that there’s no way out, He sees our situation from a completely different perspective (Isaiah 55:8-9). He sees from the other side of the locked door. The lock is not invisible to Him, and He holds that unseen key. He’s calling us all not to limit Him with our fears and doubts, and trying to work our own way out of the difficulties, but to ask Him to help us to truly, actively put our trust in Him, our faithful God, for whom nothing is impossible, trusting in His ability, not our own.
Prayer: Thank You, Father God, that You are all-knowing, all-powerful. However trapped I feel, or however impossible my situation might seem to me, You see what I don’t see, and it isn’t impossible for You. Please forgive me for those times when I’ve handed things over to You in prayer, and then carried on regardless in fear and doubt, rationalising and trying to work out my own answers. Please help me to truly, actively put my trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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