The Door

It has been a couple of months since I wrote my last post for Liv’n’Hope, so I figured it was about time I had another go.

I had some ideas about what I could write, but I didn’t know how to start. So I decided to look for pictures to inspire me.

As I began putting together a collection of photos, I came across this particular one (see above). The more I studied it, the more it seemed to be telling a story all by itself.

I felt like I was the one standing there, looking down at the broken “EXIT” sign… so I wrote this.

Deceived by the “angel of light” into thinking that this forsaken place was really a mansion filled with good things, I had rushed headlong through the open door only to find emptiness and pain.

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14, 15

I turned back… but I couldn’t find the door again. It seemed to have vanished into thin air. I ran all around the perimeter, banging on the walls in hope that something would give way.

All in vain.

Then I began to feverishly search among the dirty, cracked, and dislodged tiles for something – anything – to help me escape. In the very middle of this cramped prison, lay a broken “EXIT” sign. Its electrical cord had been cut and was sprawled out in coils like a lifeless snake.

Lifeless… just like me. Why did I choose to take the advice of a Liar instead of doing what was good and right? But now it’s too late. There is no way out. No exit.

I went and sat down against the wall, my head in my hands.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10

A dull buzzing sound suddenly filled the air.

I looked up.

The sign was no longer lying on the ground, but was glowing and mounted on the opposite wall! And below it was a door!

I ran to the door and tried the handle. It wouldn’t budge. I tried harder.

Immediately I heard a voice say, “If you want to exit this place, you must first exit yourself.”

“What does that mean?” I shouted.

“The only reason this door is here is because I died – exited Myself – to give life to you. You cannot leave this prison if you are still clinging to your life and what caused you to be imprisoned: your own interests and limited understanding.”

“Hey! It wasn’t my fault. I was deceived.” In my own ears, this excuse sounded reasonable enough.

“And you will be again if you continue as you were before.”

I opened my mouth to argue, but suddenly I knew He was right.

“But Who are You?” was my next demand, although I was already trembling with the realisation of Who I was dealing with.

“You know My name, but not Me. I have known you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. I gave up my life for you. But you have denied Me, used My name as a curse, and have refused several times to repent of your selfishness.”

Dread filled me, for I knew I was guilty of all these things and more. Would He say it was too late for forgiveness?

“It is not too late… but you must exit this place of your rebellion and resolve never to return. Even if it is a mansion full of riches, it will still be a type of prison. If you trust Me, I will never leave you, forsake you, or deceive you. I do not withhold any good thing from my children.”

I stared up at the bright red letters of the sign as I contemplated the decision laid before me. They looked like little streams of His blood. My mind was already made up, but what could I say that would adequately express my regret and shame? What could I do to deserve His help?

I expected Him to respond verbally to my thoughts as He had before, but He didn’t. However, somehow, I felt like He was beckoning me. Before I knew it, the half-formed words in my heart were flowing out of my mouth in full confession. I was emptied out of the selfish motives, bitter feelings, and downright wicked things that had taken hold of my life. Each one was exposed and shown the door.

When I had run out of words, I heard Him say:

“You are forgiven, My child. Enter!”

The door opened. Bright sunlight shone on my face.

I stepped through and didn’t look back.

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13, 14

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