Thursday, January 17, 2013


The thermometer reads zero and here I am, thinking about warm, gentle breezes of summer. My sister and nieces are in Mexico enjoying their summer early. Regardless of the weather, however, we can be sure that when we open our hearts to God, He will enter and bring transformation to our lives. What better time than in the cold, dark days of winter?



I almost missed it—the doorway made of tangled vines and branches. Dapples of sunlight peeking out from the small opening gave the place away. Intrigued, I crawled into a cathedral of tall pines, old-growth hardwoods, and stately poplars. The soft carpet of pine needles and damp leaves felt like velvet to my fingers. I inhaled deeply of the sweet aroma of poplar leaves and pinesap.

To the best of my knowledge, no one else knew of that quiet sanctuary. I returned many times. This enclave of beauty and mystery became my favorite place of solitude, my leafy garden of prayer. An old log served as my chair and table. I never spoke out loud—only in whispers— for any sound would have destroyed the holy ambiance of the place.

Openings are interesting things to consider. In our houses, our openings are doors. Closed, they keep us inside, safe from the weather, most bugs and critters, and other intruders. For some, closed doors create prisons, or places of secrecy. Doors can be either barriers or openings. And each of us has the opportunity or choice to open our doors at will. When friends, relatives, or strangers visit, we may invite them in or we may decide to keep them out. During a storm, we may choose to keep the door closed against the elements, or open it to savor the storm. Emotionally, we can choose to open ourselves to the hurts from others, or we can close our minds to such things and focus on the positives.

Jesus offers us an opening, also. He said in Revelation 3:20, "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Notice that the choice is ours. He will not force His way into our hearts.

Once we open our heart's door and allow God to enter and take up residency, the beauty and mystery of His Kingdom will become ours to enjoy with Him. We can be happy in the quiet sanctuary of His presence any time or place we choose—even when the tangled vines of life surround us.

Lord, give us the desire to open the door of our heart to You so we can partake of all that You have in store for us—love, joy, peace, the promise of eternal life, and the boundless riches of Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name, amen.

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