Stan was late. Or I was early. In any event, as I sat at the table watching the front door for him to come in, I jumped as someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around and saw Stan. He said, “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Where did you come from?” I asked. “I’ve been watching for you.”
“Back door,” Stan replied. “I came in through the back door.”
“I didn’t know anyone could come in except through the front door,” I said.
Stan sat down and said, “I learned that lesson a long time ago.”
“What lesson?” I asked. “That the restaurant has a back door?”
“No,” Stan replied, “the lesson that God can come in through any door He wants and at any time He wants. And if I look for Him to come only the same way at the same time, there’s a good chance I may miss Him.”
“For example,” he continued, “every morning I start my day spending time with God in prayer, devotion, worship, and study during the time I journal.”
“What about it?” I asked.
“As good as that time is,” Stan added, “if that’s the only time during the day that I expect to see and to hear from God, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m going to miss a great deal of what He has for me.”
“So,” I replied, “are you saying that you should mix up how you spend time with God? Do things differently from time to time?”
“Not at all,” Stan said. “My morning time with God is essential for me in my continuing faith walk. But if that’s the only time I look for God during the day, I’m going to miss Him when He shows up in a different setting, perhaps looking somewhat different from what I’m used to seeing.”
“Well then,” I asked, “do you think God changes?”
“Nope,” Stan replied. “God doesn’t change, but I do think He can change the way He wants me to see Him.”
“Why would He do that?” I said.
“Maybe to improve my vision,” Stan replied. “If I’m not seeing Him as He wants me to see Him throughout the day, He will do what needs to be done so I will see Him as clearly as He wants.”
“So,” I said, “you’re saying I shouldn’t always look for God to come in through the ‘front door’ of my life. He may just surprise me with a fuller vision of who He is by coming in the ‘back door.’ Is that it?”
“That’s right, my friend,” Stan replied. “Let’s keep our eyes open to see God wherever and whenever He chooses. Expect to see Him without being startled!”
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3
I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. Proverbs 4:11.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for wanting to be an intimate part of my life by opening me to see you however you want to present yourself to me. I confess that too often I don’t look to see you in ways you may want, and, as a result, I miss seeing you as fully as you intend. Please forgive that foolishness and please help me in following your lead into the ever-deepening relationship you have for me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you always look for God in the same way or ways? Why or why not? If you do, is it possible that you may be missing some things about Him that He wants to show you? What would it take for you to be open to seeing God come before you through the “back door,” rather than always coming in the “front door”? Is that something you would like? If so, do you know how it can happen?