New WINE Wednesday ~ Until God Opens the Next Door, Praise Him in the Hallway
By Kelly Wahlquist
I remember watching The Sound of Music as a little girl on television right around Easter. Yep, that was back in the pre-historic days, the days before DVDs or even VHS. The one line that always stuck with me was when Maria says, “Where the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” This message of hope that captured me in the sincerity of Julie Andrews’ voice is a message I often referred back to whenever I encountered what I thought was an opportunity lost—a door closing. It was a message that always proved to be true, where the Lord closed a door, somewhere He opened a window.
Then one day, another door closed and I headed back to my “Fraulein Maria words of comfort,” and I waited, and I waited, and I waited and it seemed as though either God didn’t know someone had shut the door, or He had forgotten how to open the window. So I waited, and as time passed, the lack of spotting an opening brought with it some discomfort, then some questioning, and then some down-right honest anxiety. Why wasn’t Julie Andrews coming through for me this time? Was I destined to live in sadness and heartache?
Turns out, it wasn’t the words of Julie Andrews I needed to rely on, it was the Word of God, so I went there, and I found, “Have no anxiety about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). And I found, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). … and I took comfort, but I still didn’t see the window opening.
So what do you do when you don’t see that streak of light breaking through the window to conquer the darkness? Easy, you praise God! What? Yep, you praise God. Salvation and Church history are riddled with stories of praise and thanksgiving during times of suffering and great trial. Job experienced life at its worst; David faced years of terror running from Saul; and St. Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison, yet all responded by singing praise to God.
So, Fraulein Maria was right, “Where the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” The catch is, sometimes that window takes longer to open than we had hoped. It’s up to us what we do while we wait. I say, do what you naturally do when you’re waiting for something. Grab a good book, actually, grab the best book, grab the Bible, and listen to the words of your Father. Then, simply talk to Him. Put on some good music or sing a song of praise, because Our God is an Awesome God. And, above all, know that your suffering has meaning, and offer it up for another. (If you can’t think of someone to offer it up for, you might want to do so for the person next to me when I’m waiting for my window to open and singing my songs of praise at the top of my lungs!)
Written by Kelly Wahlquist
Kelly Wahlquist is a Catholic speaker, author and evangelist. She is the founder of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization, and the Assistant Director for the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute in the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis. Kelly a contributing writer for CatholicMom.com and The Integrated Catholic Life. Kelly travels the country speaking to all on various topics that inspire us to live the New Evangelization, but has a special love for speaking at Catholic women’s conferences. She resides in Minnesota with her husband, Andy, and their three children, and is active in their parish, Holy Name of Jesus.