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Walking Into Screen Doors

Walking Into Screen Doors

When life slams a screen door in your face, don’t get stuck staring at the sky; lean deeper into your calling and depend more on Christ.

Mike Rhoades | Oct 30, 2015

We were hosting a party for some of the leaders in our ministry. Burgers, brats, yard games... the whole works. As everyone was mingling in the backyard, I was parked at the grill performing my manly duties: cooking the beef. It was a perfect evening. I remember watching as my son ran around the backyard with a massive smile on his face and thinking…”I feel really blessed.” Our house was filled with incredible friends, the grill smelled amazing, and it was a perfect moment. Just then I remembered the cheese for the burgers was still sitting on the kitchen counter. In a rush to avoid burning the food, I picked up a plate full of finished burgers and brats, turned and ran strait into the screen door. Food went everywhere. Beautifully cooked brats went bouncing across the deck and I crumbled to the floor in bewilderment and rage. Turns out my son did something he’d never done before: he shut the screen door on his way outside. The door I thought was open was closed. I don’t know if you’ve ever run into a screen door, but it’s not all that fun and is really embarrassing. Sometimes life and especially ministry can feel a little bit like running into a screen door. We can see something we want. We can see how to get there. We think we know exactly what’s going on. Then, out of nowhere, life happens and all our dreams come to a crashing halt. What’s left can be a mixture of pain, confusion, embarrassment, and even anger. I wonder if it’s a bit like how the disciples felt when Jesus ascended into Heaven. Acts 1:8-9 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, through Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.” These men had followed Jesus for years on the promise that He was the Messiah, the one who had been prophesied about for generations. I wonder if they felt like they just had a screen door experience as Jesus floated up into the clouds? The Bible says they stood there staring at the sky and “Strained to see Him.” But…later in the story, as the believers are gathered together in one place, the Holy Spirit arrives. His power fills these men and Peter proceeds to preach a sermon that leads 3,000 people to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior! Here’s a nugget of truth…many times, when life gives us a screen door moment, we get stuck staring at the sky asking “Why?" We focus on what happened, struggling to make sense of the situation, but miss what God is preparing you for. The strain of losing Jesus opened the door for the disciples to experience the Holy Spirit. The struggles we experience in life often lead to the greatest opportunities for growth. Ask any preacher and they will admit some of the sermons they felt bombed the most had the greatest impact. When life slams a screen door in your face, don’t get stuck staring at the sky; lean deeper into your calling and depend more on Christ.    

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