When, my wife and I left Yakima a year and a half-ago, I can remember feeling a bit discouraged and frustrated – even a bit afraid.  My life was going great!  I loved living in Yakima. I was in my ‘sweet spot’ in ministry – serving on staff at Stone Church under a great teacher/mentor in Pastor Jon, Love INC, awesome networking, connections, great friendships, etc. So, when God began changing our lives and began moving us in the direction of the Tri-Cities, initially, I didn’t take it too well. Deep in my heart, I felt like maybe I had done something wrong, wasn’t good enough to continue what I was doing, etc. In fact, what even made it harder was that I would be leaving the serving at Stone Church to go back to work for my old boss in a ‘non-church’ related job.  Honestly, I felt like I had been ‘demoted’. Ugh… how frustrated, disappointed and full of fear I can remember feeling. However, over the last year and a half, I’ve come to realize that our purpose in moving to the Tri-Cities had nothing to do with ‘messing up’ or coming to end of my abilities and knowledge, but rather, God was closing that ‘door’ in order to move us into a new season of connecting with and strengthening my relationship with my son. It’s been awesome to say the least!

This reminds me of a brief story from Acts 16 –

6 Paul and those with him went through the areas of Phrygia and Galatia since the Holy Spirit did not let them preach the Good News in Asia. 7 When they came near the country of Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not let them.8 So they passed by Mysia and went to Troas.9 That night Paul saw in a vision a man from Macedonia. The man stood and begged, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”10 After Paul had seen the vision, we immediately prepared to leave for Macedonia, understanding that God had called us to tell the Good News to those people.

In the above narrative, Paul was traveling with some companions, as they moved their way from city to city, encouraging, teaching, strengthening the churches and preaching the Gospel in the synagogues. The bible is not specific as to what happened that prevented them from entering Asia, but it is clear that they were headed that way and the Holy Spirit blocked their path and kept them from going into Asia.  If we were to stop reading here, we would be left wondering. What they were doing seemed right and good – headed into Asia to build up the churches and preach the Gospel to the lost.  That’s good, right?  Yes, but as we continue reading, we realize that although ‘good’, their own plans were not God’s plans.  God’s plan was for them, for that season, to preach the Gospel to Macedonia.  So, God ‘closed the door’ into Asia and through a vision, prompted Paul to go elsewhere.  And he obeyed and went.

The lesson in this for us is that sometimes, God will change our direction, our path… even what seems to be a ‘good’ thing, for something even better.  The challenge for us can be trusting God through the changes.  May I remind us and encourage us that He is worthy of our trust. All He does is rooted and ‘birthed’ from His great, pure and perfect wisdom… and He always puts love at the forefront of everything He does. So, the next time it would appear as though a ‘good door’ in our life has been ‘closed’ in our face, let us not despair, but rather, let us look to God, the One who provides for us exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever think, imagine or ask for.  Let us place our trust, not in the institutions of this world, but in a God who’s plans for us are not to harm us, but to prosper us – to give us a hope and a future.  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.”

  1. Shelly Peterson says:

    Thanks Brian for a good and timely word. So glad you’re being obedient to the Lord’s call and sensitive to His leading… We’re the one’s who also get to benefit:) Shelly

    • brian hetzer says:

      Hey Shelly – thank you! Praise God that others can learn and gleen from my life. I am feeling more and more ‘free’ to share it… without ‘fear’ of being judged or rejected. The Lord continues to teach me to not look back except to learn… anything else brings either regret and shame or pride and self-centeredness. My future lies in what is ahead… not behind. I will probably be writing a ‘The Door – part 2’… as this weekend, the Lord has stirred in me another reminder about ‘my own planning’ versus ‘His establishing my footsteps’. Thanks Shel…

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