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.