“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Reading from a devotional from Max Lucado he wrote “God uses closed doors to advance his cause.” I never thought of it that way. I know about closed doors, for we always say when God closes a door he opens a window. Closed doors often mean that’s not the direction God wants you to go. What came to mind, thinking of that, I remember when God called me into the ministry and I had been accepted at Asbury College in the Fall to begin the journey. However, our house had not sold, and we depended on the income from that in order to have money to start college. The church we belonged to was looking for a part-time pastor to help in visitation and other duties and it came with a house. Being on the Pastor-Parish Committee, and after the pastor of the church came to talk to me and Carole, he encouraged me to apply. He believed it would solve two problems. First, our family would not have to move very far, and I could be of help to the church and get experience in pastoring. Second, it would meet the church’s need of having someone they knew doing the ministry alongside the pastor.
Seemed just right. I was excited about the idea. So, at the next meeting I put in my application, had checked out a Christian college I could go to that was nearby and went for the interview. Remember, these were folks I served with that interviewed me and would make the decision. After answering their questions, I was asked to leave so they could make a decision. While they discussed the situation, I went to the Sanctuary and prayed and waited. Did I say I prayed and waited? Yes, I did! Over two hours later, the pastor came to tell me their decision. They decided that it was not a good idea for the church or for me. They worried that at my age, (40) with no college background, I would not be able to do it. They felt it would be a hardship for me and my family as well as the church. When the pastor said he was sorry and hoped that I’d be okay, the first thing I said was that this was an answer to my prayers. That meant that my journey to Asbury College was the right move and I just had to wait until our house sold. Not disappointed at all, I believed God had closed the door to serving in that church and was opening a window to my future in Kentucky and beyond, to Illinois, where I came to serve. It wasn’t long after that that our house sold and we were off to Kentucky. God always knows best!
Isaiah’s words at the beginning of this note reminded me of that moment and reminded me of doors that God has opened in our lives as we have shared in ministry for these 35 years. We saw many doors opened, some closed, but we knew without a shadow of a doubt that God’s ways were far better than ours. We might have thought things didn’t look quite as good as we prepared to move from one parish to another, but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, it has all been God’s plan for us to serve the people He has called us to serve.
Max concluded this devotion by saying, “Your blocked door doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you. Quite the opposite. It’s proof that he does.” Do you have any closed doors in your life? Look around and you might see an open window. Those who wait upon the Lord will be blessed.
WILLIAMSVILLE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
PO Box 79, Williamsville, IL 62693
Office Phone 217.566.3614
Rev. Dick Piscatelli, Pastor
302 Wagon Wheel Lane, Chatham IL 62629
Dick’s cell 217.494.1475
Carole’s cell 217.494.1525
Sunday Worship 9:00 a.m.