Do you ever feel like you’re supposed to do something for God, and yet every door seems to shut in your face? What’s up with that? I mean, if God wants you to do something, shouldn’t He make it happen? It seems only logical that we assume these things will come about without discouragement or hiccups.
I know I’ve felt that way before. Many of my writing friends have this experience. They feel like God wants them to tell a certain message and spend years writing manuscripts, pouring their heart and soul into what they feel is their ministry. For what? To then face rejection after rejection. They’re left wondering if they were mistaken to try.
The Apostle Paul felt like he was supposed to minister to Asia. Yet, when he was planning his missionary journey ever door to Asia closed on him. How disappointing. I mean, all this man wanted to do what tell people about God, and he couldn’t.
Then Paul has a dream that tells him to go to Europe. Even though his heart was set on preaching to Asia, Paul follows his gut and goes to Europe.
And this is where we see that God always has a plan. Closed doors in our lives do not mean our ministry is wrong, but maybe that God has another way of bringing about His plan. One that proves that He orchestrates everything and they we are so far out of control, it’s humbling.
See, the Bible tells us that Paul’s first convert in Europe was Lydia, a woman from the city of Thyatira—located in *ding, ding, ding* Asia. So, Paul’s heart was to convert people in Asia, he couldn’t go, and then he tavels to Europe and converts a woman from Asia. Crazy, right? How many people lived on that continent? He probably rubbed shoulders with hundreds of people, and yet God leads him to Lydia (Acts 16:7-15), a wealthy woman living in Greece. She sold purple dyed clothing—something only the extremely rich could afford.
It doesn’t stop there. Not only is Lydia the first recorded Christian in Europe, but her home becomes the meeting place for the first church in Europe. In fact, she begs Paul to set up the church in her home. It’s the first place he goes when he’s let out of prison. Her home town of Thyatira (in Asia, where Paul couldn’t go) becomes one of The Seven Churches mentioned in Revelations.
Next time things look bleak, or you feel discouraged in doing the one ministry you feel God’s called you to do. Remember Paul and Lydia. God’s always has a plan. It just might not look the way you pictured. It might look altogether remarkably more amazing.