Category Archives: God talk



See the above picture? That’s it. That is the actual doorknob that caused so much panic, fear and frustration at my house over a week ago. (Not to mention a few, good belly laughs from yours truly.)

It was hysterical. I had warned people when they first showed up for the party. I had shown them how to use these new doorknobs that were stiffer than molasses on a cold winters night in Alaska. I told them not to worry, that they would not be locked in, even though it would feel like it. They just needed to relax – and get the feel for the doorknob. Once they did, they would be able to open the door and walk freely.

But they didn’t listen. Or perhaps didn’t believe me. And so they panicked and, in the process, got stuck in the bathroom. Like I said, hysterical. Picture it . . .

  • People were banging on the door, yelling for help because the bathroom was far from the party and they feared no one could hear them.
  • One person actually unscrewed the door lock thinking that was the culprit.
  • Another group decided not to close the bathroom door so they wouldn’t have to use the doorknob and instead, had their peeps stand outside the door on lookout.
  • Someone else argued with me that he really had been locked in – until I gently showed him otherwise.

I laughed my head off (with great empathy, of course). That precious doorknob made a mockery of even the most secure adult.

In everybody’s panic it probably felt like they were going to be stuck there forever; or at least until the next person would need to use the bathroom, (neither of which would give much consolation). The more stuck they felt, the more fervent they became at trying to force that knob to turn and set them free.

As I was thinking about these scenes the other day and getting a good chuckle on, it got me thinking: Isn’t this how we are?

  • God tells us not to worry about our needs. He will provide. (Matt. 6:25-34)
  • He tells us we’re never alone; He will always be with us. (Heb. 13:5)
  • He says He will work everything out for good in our lives. (Rom. 8:28)
  • He reminds us we don’t have to be anxious because He cares deeply for us. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • He says anytime we need mercy and grace we can boldly ask Him. (Heb. 4:16)

On and on, God gives us promise after promise. And yet, when we’re in the middle of our crisis, we don’t listen. Or we don’t believe Him. And so we freak out. We pound on doors. We yell for others to help us. We try to force situations which only makes matters worse. We break out in cold sweats, feeling like we’ll be stuck forever.

Do you know the real problem with stiff doorknobs? The more freaked out a person is, the less chance they have of getting out. Panic, by its very nature, cannot produce calm, right thinking or action. Just as well, the more frantic we are, the more stuck we will feel, and the harder it will be for us to move into freedom.

People trying too hard to get out of the bathroom ended up going nowhere. If they would have just trusted me and relaxed and let the doorknob do its job instead of trying to coerce it, force it, or dismantle it, they could have gotten out very easily. And walked free.

We can walk free anytime, too. Even in the middle of our predicament. If we relax. And trust God. He says, I am the doorkeeper. Rest in me and you will be free. Free indeed.

Passing the Test

I feel like I’ve been through the spiritual ringer this last week. Like I’m being tested. Refined again. Yippee.

I’ve been tempted to think things my mind shouldn’t be thinking, have said a few “choice” words that I wish I hadn’t, gave myself a sweet little paper cut on my finger that felt like a razor blade took to it, have woken up with migraines during the night for no apparent reason, have been struggling with having not-so-nice conversations with people in my head, have been tempted to question a few things in life, and on and on. Little things. Big things. Many things.

I have found that I generally fare well with bigger, obvious tests. I text my posse and ask for prayer, pull out the “big-guns” of Scripture, process with my hubby, prepare for battle, etc. But, oh, those little things . . . I’ve recognized, through all of this, that it’s when things seem to pile up, as little as they may be, that my faith is tested most. That last straw has been placed. Back broken.

As I literally got down on my knees today, (more out of habit as opposed to really wanting to), I began a conversation with God. It went with something like this:

           God, I’m tired. I feel like I’m always failing.        

You are.

Excuse me?

You are. You will. The question is, will you get back up again?


After swallowing my aha moment, I immediately remembered Peter. You probably know the story. In the book of Luke, Jesus told Peter that Satan was asking permission to make mincemeat out of him. Shred him to pieces. Render him useless.

And Jesus’ reply?

“But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon [Peter], that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”  (Luke 22:32, NLT, emphasis mine)

Peter’s faith did fail. He would go on to deny Jesus three times – even using a few of his own “choice” words as he did. I’d personally call that an epic fail.

But, he got back up. He recognized, repented, and reestablished.

And that’s what Jesus’ prayer for him was all about. So when you have repented and turned to me again . . . He knew Peter was going to fail. He even predicted it. So what was His prayer for Peter?

That when he did fail, he would not succumb to that failure. That it would not define him; keep him down; keep him from turning back to Jesus; keep him from trying again. And again. And again. That Peter would see that “his faith not failing” wasn’t about having a failure moment; it was about what he was going to do after his failure. With his failure. That he would take his own failure and use it to strengthen others who also would fail.

Maybe that’s why the Bible has so much to say about persevering, not giving up, and running the race of life with endurance (see James 1:12-18, Heb. 12:1-3, Gal. 6:9). Maybe getting an “A” during tests of faith has nothing to do with our everyday failures, but rather with whether we believe Jesus when He said on the cross immediately prior to His death, “It is finished.” It is now done. Over. Sin covered. New beginnings possible. Every day. And we recognize, repent, re-group and reestablish. 

And then tomorrow? We do it again if necessary. With a smile on our faces that recognizes the beautiful gift God has given us – an opportunity to receive a passing grade on all of our faith tests, every single time, as we choose to continue on with Him and let Him use our “failures” to help and strengthen others.

Happy test taking!