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Kolar: Do not regret closing some doors in life

"Before one chapter ends, God is writing a new chapter for us, and changing the blessings from those we no longer need, to those we may need on the journey forward," writes Rev. Janel Kolar.

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Rev. Janel F. Kolar is the Pastor at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Dickinson, N.D. (Contributed photo)

Joshua 5:12 The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

There is an old saying – “When God closes a door, he opens a window” or is it, “When God closes a window, he opens a door”? Or was that “When God closes one door he opens another door.” I’ve heard lots of variations and people often believe this is a quote from the Bible. It’s not from the Bible and the original quote was none of those. The original quote was: “When one door closes another will open”, credited to Alexander Graham Bell.

We like to believe that when a time or season in our lives is over, another season is just beginning and while this particular quote isn’t Biblical, it certainly could describe the experiences of God’s people. It was often true for them that when one door closed, another was open on their way. For example, when the Israelites finally settled in their “land of milk and honey” and produced a crop, the manna God had been providing for them ceased. The manna, which had been a great blessing and a great comfort, was there when they needed it. For years, as they wandered in the wilderness, the only work involved in receiving their daily bread was collecting it every morning (and making sure they didn’t take more than they needed). But once they were growing their own crops, they didn’t need the manna, so God closed that door.

It had to be a little bit scary to wake up that first morning and know the manna was not going to be there any longer. It was a change…a new time in their lives….a new season in their lives, and while the door in front of them was wide open, it still must have given them pause to know the door behind them had firmly closed. But God didn’t stop providing for the Israelites altogether. God simply stopped providing manna. The Israelites would continue to count on God to send the rain and warmth to grow that gran. They would continue to ask for and receive God’s provision and blessings. It was okay to move on from the manna. That chapter was over and they needed to let it go because there was another door opening.

We are all a little bit like that. As God closes one door – one chapter – one season in our lives, sometimes it’s hard to just turn around and focus on the door that has opened in front of us. God’s people have always struggled with this. We just hate it when a good thing comes to an end….even if the end of that good thing points to the beginning of something even better. Alexander Graham Bell thought so too. That oft-misquoted quote of his has a second part. It begins “When one door closes another will open” and continues, “but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

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There is no need for us to regret the closing doors in life. Before one chapter ends, God is writing a new chapter for us, and changing the blessings from those we no longer need, to those we may need on the journey forward.

Related Topics: FAITH
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