Friday, January 23, 2009

#25 Please Open the Drawer!

Revelation 3:7 "He who...opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no
one opens..."

One of my favorite games to play as a child was "hide and seek". I loved
trying to find the best spot to hide where no one would think to look.
Under a bed, in a closet, beside the fridge, in a cabinet, and the list can
go on and on depending on where you are playing. As many of you know I grew
around a junk yard. Playing hide and seek in the junk yard was really cool.
My granddad's junk yard had about 400 cars so you had to limit the hiding
spaces to certain rows of cars. Of course, you also had to be very careful
about the car that you hid in or around. North Carolina has multiple
varieties of poisonous snakes and even those that aren't piousness can scare
the life out of you when you are not expecting them to be there.

My kids seem to have inherited my love for playing hide and seek, but
perhaps it is an innate desire implanted in all of us due to our sinful
nature. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned they "hid themselves from the Lord
God among the trees of the Garden." (Gen 3:8) However my kids got it, they
love to play it. While we were still living in Collegedale, TN and while I
was still attending Southern Adventist University, we bought an old
single-drawer table that we ran across in a thrift store.

It was beat up a bit, but the large single drawer and the low height of the table made it a perfect fit for becoming a Lego play area. It was a nice solid wooden piece and they only wanted $20 for it. We bought it and the kids loved it. When
Ginger and I made the purchase we had no idea what eventual use the table
would find. We polished it up when we got it home and placed it proudly in
the boys' room. It needed a little work so we told the kids not to put any
toys in the drawer until we could attend to the repairs. Not too many days
afterward the kids were playing a little hide and seek. Apparently as
Austin, our oldest, looked about for a place to hide he noticed that he was
just about the right size to fit in the single drawer of the new Lego table.
So in he went. His choice was so effective that his siblings could not find
him. As he waited panic begin to set in.

He suddenly realized that it was much easier to place one's self into a
drawer and close it than it was to open said drawer. Something that
complicated his egress was the fact that the small crown molding that
surrounded the bottom edge of the top of the table was loose on one corner.
It was just loose enough that it would hang down over the edge of the drawer
just far enough to prevent the drawer from opening unless you lifted the
molding. Of course, when you are lying inside the drawer it is impossible
to lift the molding and slide the drawer out. His sudden panic flowed into
uncontrollable sobbing and cries for help.

Needless to say his siblings then had no trouble finding him, but they too could not manipulate the combination to free their brother. Ginger and I came running and I was able to lift the molding and then yank the Austin-filled drawer widely open. I
don't think my son has ever been so glad to see his family.

As you read this message just now, how many of you have opened doors and
gone places that you should not have gone? I know that I could fill many
pages with times when I should have stayed put and not went in a particular
direction I life. And of course there have been times that doors opened
that I should have gone through and I didn't. Sometimes it is tough to know
just what we should do. Sometimes it does not seem that we have good
options and we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils. It is during
those times that I am so thankful that I am not left to make decisions on my

I firmly believe that Jesus stands ready, willing, and abundantly able
to give me guidance and direction in my life. He not only wants to help me,
He wants to help each of you as well. You have heard and will hear me
mention that I think the Lord's return is very near. I do not know just how
soon, but neither does anyone else despite what they may say. How soon is
not the issue really. The real issue is are you ready to meet Jesus when He
does come? Out of all the doors that we need to make a decision about, the
door to our hearts is probably the most important. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus
says that He is standing at the door knocking. Knocking of course indicates
that He is not going to force Himself on us. He wants us to invite Him in
so that He can be our Savior and our Lord. Once we do that we can have
peace in our lives. Once we open the door to Jesus we can have assurance in
knowing that He will save us and the we will live for eternity with Him.

Friends, I want each of you to have that assurance. I want each of you to
open the door to Jesus and accept Him completely into your life. Once the
door to Jesus is opened we can count on Him to help us know which doors to
open and close from then on. And when Jesus opens a door no one can shut
it, and when He shuts it no one can open it. Surrender to Him just now and
allow His peace to pull you out of the drawer of what is surely a collapsing

Dear Father God,
As we come to You just now we know that we have made some
really poor decisions on our lives. Perhaps we have made some decisions
that it will take years for us to move beyond the effects. But even if
there are elements of our sin that must play themselves out, we want to
start fresh with Jesus again tonight. There may even be some who read this
and need to accept Jesus for the first time. Whatever the case Father,
please forgive each of us for our sins. Please allow the blood of Jesus to
wash us clean and take away the blot of sin in our lives. Give us each the
courage to open wide the door to our hearts and may we invite Jesus into our
hearts each day so that there is never any chance of us not being connected
to Him. Please open and close doors in our life as You see fit Lord, and
may we humbly submit to Your divine guidance. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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