My toddler likes to play with doors.
Close. Open. Close. Open.
Nothing unusual really. Many children do.
This play of hers extends even to our bathroom door. The catch here, however, is once she completely closes the bathroom door, she can't open it again.
Close. Fuss. Mommy opens. Close. Fuss. Mommy opens.
You get the picture.
Today I was taking my shower, the place where all deep philosophical thinking occurs. I heard the door handle jiggle and then a very quiet shutting of the bathroom door.
Close. Fuss. Jiggle. Fuss. Jiggle Harder. Fuss.
And it hit me that my relationship with God is often like my two year old's insistence on closing a door she knows she can't open.
In regard to this situation, my toddler knows three things:
1) She loves Mommy and likes to be with her (even in the loo).
2) She likes to play with doors.
3) She can't open the bathroom door by herself.
By choosing to play the door game with me in the shower, she made a choice to be separate from me. She can't get back in on her own. She has made her proverbial bed and now, she has to lie in it (or stand outside it as the case may be).
No matter how many times she plays this game. No matter how much frustration I may experience at hearing a fussing child outside a door she chose to close, I will always, always reach to open it again. Sure, we may talk about how she isn't able to open the door once it's closed and she needs to choose better next time. But, I will always, always open it for her.
As the water rained from the shower head, and I heard the fussing from the hallway, I realized that's exactly what God does for me. All the time. He always opens the door. again. and again.
I know three things:
1) I love God and long to spend time with Him
2) I like to play with "doors"
3) There are some doors I just can't open on my own
Even though I love God and I love spending time with Him, I will still choose to things that separate me from Him. I make choices that will shut that metaphorical bathroom door. I am separate from Him by my own decisions and I find myself alone in the hallway.
Sometimes I fuss and cry and pout about it. Sometimes I jiggle the handle until it might break off. But God always, always, always chooses to open the door. He always chooses relationship. So He turns the handle and opens the door and I run back in to where I really want to be.
For some reason, the image of a loving Abba reaching out to turn the handle and choosing relationship again was stirring to me. Through Christ, He does what I could not do for myself, and He makes it right again. and again.
Out of his fullness we have all received grace
in place of grace already given.