Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Hope for When God Closes a Door


Closed doors disappoint us, but we can always trust God's leading. If He never closed any doors, we wouldn't know which ones to go through.Have you ever been disappointed when it seems like a door closes? It’s hard to trust God and wonder what He’s up to at the same time, isn’t it?

Recently my family received disappointing news. My son dared to apply to a highly competitive university, number one in the nation for his field of study. He worked hard to take the tests, write the essays, go to an interview, and fill out the application. We were crushed when he received the notification that they’d be unable to offer him admission. It seemed so unfair. He’d worked for nothing. I asked the question, “God, what are you doing?” The next day I told my sob story to a friend over coffee. Her response caught me by surprise:

If God didn’t close doors, we wouldn’t know which ones to go through.

I laughed at her common sense. She was right. We always want to see God open doors before us, but closed doors are part of God’s leading too. We’re excited when He opens doors: we start a new position at work, or God provides the money we need for a new car. We get accepted into a master’s program or an exclusive professional group,and we know God opened the door.

But sometimes God closes doors:

Closed doors disappoint us, but we can always trust God's leading.

Isn’t it reassuring to know we can trust God’s leading?

He opens the right doors and closes the wrong ones to lead us down the path He has for us. Maybe you’re facing a closed door that disappointed you: your article that didn’t get published, the sale on your house didn’t close, or your child didn’t make the swim team. Rest assured that God will open another door for you. My son got accepted to a university in Texas, our home state.  We suspect he’ll be happier there than he would have been at the fancy school on the East Coast. God opened a door by providing a generous scholarship for him to attend. We’re amazed at how clearly God lead him.

When a door shuts before you, it’s time to wait on God.

Keep trusting Him. He’s in control. He has a plan, and he’ll lead you down the right path. Sooner or later, He’ll open the right door for you. And when you go through it, you’ll give thanks for the doors that He closed!

Closed doors disappoint us, but we can always trust God's leading. He's in control, and He has the best plan for us.

Now it’s your turn: Have you seen God open or close a door in your life lately?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Writers all around the world join in a flash mob of free writing. Five minutes. No editing. This week’s prompt is “Door.” Join us over at Kate’s place for fun and encouragement. Also joining with #DanceWithJesus, Grace & Truth, and The Weekend Brew. Did you enjoy this post? Subscribe to get fresh servings of Faith Spilling Over delivered to your inbox. Enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

photo credit: Melika


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

42 thoughts on “Hope for When God Closes a Door

  1. This is very true. I love this about God. He will lead us down the right path and will always, in his perfect time, open the right doors for us! Good for your son; what an exciting time!

  2. Thank you for this message. We are going through a season of God opening and closing doors. Our son was torn between two great universities. Recently, he was placed on the wait list for admission to one of the two choices. We were disappointed because he met the qualifications and the tuition was in our budget. The other school is outside our budget. God opened the door for him to be accepted into the other university that is outside our budget. The stress of the upcoming tuition has been tremendous but slowly but surely I’m releasing control and trusting God to provide. We know that God is using this great opportunity to stretch our faith and bless our son. Your message was right in line with what I needed to hear.

    • I’m praying for you now, Maria, that God will open the doors to admission for the affordable school or else open doors of provision for the other one. God is in control. We’re looking at coming up with some money, too, but we’re trusting that God has a way. Blessings to you. Praying for you now.

  3. What great wisdom your friend shared: If God didn’t close doors, we would have no idea which ones to go through. Wow! It will be so neat to watch God work in your son’s life in unique ways as he heads to Texas. Stopping in from #GraceTruth.

  4. “If God didn’t close doors, we’d have no idea which ones to go through.” That’s a great word of wisdom and I’m tacking that one up! It’s great and so reassuring of God’s presence with us when we see Him not only work in our lives but in the lives of our children as they grow and leave the nest.

    I have often been asked, “How can you let your daughter go to the other side of the continent for university? Isn’t there anything closer?” of course there are schools closer but He clearly directed her to go there and we can see His hand in it all.

    I would much rather have my children far from me in distance and safely in the palm of His hand than closer to me in miles and distance but far from His best plan for them. It’s a whole trust factor and in this new stage of life He is once again proving faithful!

    Thanks for these words!

    • Yes, I agree about having your kids far away but in the center of God’s will. For us, our son will be close for the 9 months we’ll be located in Dallas, but when we return to Turkey in May 2016 –we’re here now until moving to Dallas in August– he’ll be on the other side of the world!

      • 😦 That just makes us cherish the time with them more, right! Our daughter wants to do mission work in Africa so I say, “Well, God is just preparing us. At least now we are on the same land mass! 🙂 All in His timing and in His plan… our kids and our lives!

  5. This post reminded me of a section in a book I love called Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer. He has a chapter called “When Way Closes”: referring to a Quaker concept by that name. It involves recognizing our own limits and our inability to see the big picture, and being patient to wait for the way to open before us. This is exactly what you’re talking about here and it’s so important. I just love the verse you quote above: “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”

    • That is a really interesting concept, Jeannie: “When Way Closes.” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the unknowns in our future, as we relocate to Texas for 9 months. (Like, how are we going to get a car? Where can we leave our car here parked?) God’s been reminding me that JESUS IS THE WAY. So I just have to follow Him and trust He has it figured out.

  6. Oh, Betsy, our post brought back all those feelings of disappointment and frustration! We went through the “NO” process with our son last spring, and it was the hardest closed door of my whole life. In retrospect, like you, I see that it was God’s “yes” to my son in so many ways. Thanks be to God that he knows what’s best and is sovereign.

    • I agree with you, Michele. I know it’s God’s best. My son dreamed about that school, worked REALLY hard to get in, but it was so competitive. In the long run, I’m sure he’ll be happier in a more relaxed atmosphere.

  7. Hi Besty, I smiled when I red through. I totally relate. Oh My when God closes those doors we don’t understand. But with time He carefully guides us to the place he has prepared for us. Joining you from Dance with Jesus.
    Many Blessings my friend.

  8. I’m so glad your son had another door opened for him–one that includes a scholarship :). It’s rough to have doors closed (for some reason, it seems harder when it’s doors slamming in our children’s faces). May we always remember that when doors close, others open (sometimes, it’s just a window that opens–but that works!).

    • Yes, Anita, it was a BIG disappointment for him, but he was even feeling better the following day. I like your idea about the open window! It does work, doesn’t it? Thanks for being here today.

  9. i enjoyed your post betsy:) i’ve been doing lots of looking back this past 10 days. my husband had a stroke 10 days ago…fairly mild for a stroke, but a stroke just the same! he has been in rehab a week with one more week to go! i have been thinking back over many open and closed doors over the years. what i wrote was sort of a conglomeration of a few of them. but it has been interesting to see how often we wondered why the open doors weren’t standing there waiting for us when the slammed doors were shut! or why the doors that opened weren’t nearly as enticing as we had hoped on first blush.

    but with the test of time, we see how good they were for us. rarely were the benefits financial! but we grew through each open door. God used each one to change us. i can point to each one and remember how much i learned about accepting other from this door, about forgiving at that door, etc. yes, i still have a long way to go, but i have learned a lot for sure. most of all? that He can be trusted.

    i love your friend’s comment:) she is so right!

    • Oh Martha, I’m praying for your husband now. My husband had a mini-stroke 6 years ago, and it was very scary. It took him almost a year to FULLY recover from his symptoms, which were minor. (He was much better in a few weeks/months, but the full restoration took a year.) But he did recover! We are on a new path of trusting God since then, but God is faithful. My heart goes out to you today.

  10. I have had quite a big door close this week and it has left me wandering around the hallway a bit wondering where to go next, this speaks right into where I am now – thank you 🙂

  11. My husband and I had been praying if I should go to a new doctor since I wasn’t getting better from my illness. God led us to a new doctor, but my appointment was a month away and I wasn’t feeling good. My friend prayed that I would get in earlier to this doctor. Then I got a call saying there was an opening that month which would be two weeks earlier than scheduled. It was confirmation to us from God that this was the right place to go for treatment. I have seen God work in my life through my illness.

  12. I recently read an excellent book about doors by John Ortberg called, “All the Places to Go”. He speaks of all the opportunities we can choose or choose not to take. You’re right, God has a better plan, and He is working in ways that are a lot of times completely different from the avenues we’re taking in our minds. I really liked your door picture too, it drew me to your blog!
    Thanks for sharing over at Grace and Truth today. (One of my best friend’s names is Betsy too!”) Looking forward to following you. 🙂

    • Thanks for visiting from Grace and Truth, Ruthie I love John Ortberg. Once read a book by him about spiritual disciplines called “The Life You’ve Always Wanted.” I was so encouraged. Would you believe a 15 year old girl took the door picture? I loved it too!

  13. I’m just continually amazed – in awe – at how God works. How even in our disappointment He is at work. He’s opening and closing the right doors, putting the right people in our paths – we just have to listen and follow. Wonderful post!

  14. Such great wisdom, Betsy. And while I know those closed doors can be emotional, I have discovered that they are another opportunity to lean in and trust Him. I write that as I reminder to myself too. Blessings to you.

    • Hi Beth! So glad you stopped by today, friend. Yes, those closed doors ARE emotional! But as you say, they’re always an opportunity to learn trust. 🙂

  15. I love this! Your friend’s advice certainly is so perfect. We look at an opportunity as lost instead of the better thing that God has waiting for us. Blessed you shared this at The Weekend Brew.

    • Yes, Mary, I’m going to remember her words for a long time! I loved what you said about God’s love letters yesterday, by the way. Made my heart smile.

  16. Yes! God has open and closed doors recently. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing and encouraging. I’m linking up with you too in The Weekend Brew.

    Tayrina from TGAWrites

  17. It’s hard watching doors close for our kids–especially if they keep pounding on the door! I’ve been through some of that with my son’s disease, which limits his options. Hard to watch, but I see God using it to develop his character. Great post!

  18. Excited to have you in Texas, Betsy! When you come, we have to get together for coffee:)

  19. I love your friend’s common sense! Can’t wait until you are in Texas – I’m envisioning a Compel reunion!

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