Knocking on Doors That Don’t Open

Not long ago, I saw an opportunity online that looked like it would be perfect for me. I was looking for a way to combine my love for writing with adding to the household income, and this opportunity looked like it could accomplish that.

I thought about it for weeks before I did anything, and asked God a few times what He thought about it. Although I didn’t hear a clear opinion from Him, I finally decided to apply. As requested, I carefully composed my e-mail and chose just the right writing samples before I clicked “Send.”

There was no response.

I waited for two weeks without a reply. I had a growing feeling this wasn’t something in God’s plans for me, but decided a polite follow-up e-mail would be appropriate.

Again, there was no response.

I had knocked on a door that apparently wasn’t meant to open. Part of me wanted to remind God why this might have been a good fit for me, but the other part reminded myself that God has other plans.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT
Sometimes God lets us knock on a door He’s not going to open. {Tweet this}

Not everything we try is going to work out the way we would like it to, but through the process of trying we keep learning.

My time hadn’t been wasted because any writing I do is good practice, even if it never gets past my own computer screen. Perhaps for you it’s something different, but any time spent trying something new or working on a craft is time well spent.

God has good plans for us, even when we don’t know what they are. {Tweet this}

What looks to me to be just the right thing for my life may be far from what God has planned. Even when faced with disappointment when something doesn’t work out, I have to remind myself that God knows best.

If the door I knocked on didn’t open, then I have to trust that He has a different plan for me. There’s a different door I haven’t stepped up to yet, and that will be the door He’ll open.

God sees success differently that the world sees it. {Tweet this}

Life doesn’t always work out the way we think it should. The world sees success as achieving the goal we aim for, accomplishing what we set out to do, and everything going according to our own plans. When we don’t get the end result we want, it might be seen as a failure.

However, that’s not God’s definition of success. His goal might not be the end result, but rather what’s in-between. He wants us to experience the process of getting there because that’s when we grow and learn. When we submit to God’s plans instead of insisting on our own, that is when we are successful.
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 NLT
Failure is not knocking on a door that does not open, but rather choosing not to knock at all. {Tweet this}

Then, if the door remains closed, it’s time to let it go and move on, knowing God has other plans for us.

In Christ,

[Photo credit:]


  1. Laura, I am also learning that when the door doesn't open, I should not force it open either. When the Lord keeps a door shut, it is often for my own protection. We must trust Him with every door. Blessings!

  2. Very wise words here, friend. Thank you. May God bless you as you bless others.

  3. Several years ago (2003), my husband and I begged God to open a door for us to move. He didn't open the door, so we broke it down ourselves. What a disaster! We ended up losing $60,000 in a move that was clearly not meant to be. We call that our "demanding a king" experience.

    We have learned the hard (and expensive!) way that when doors remain closed, we need to trust...and not force them open.

    I'm not a tweeter, but I love all your tweets. Such wise words.

    Patti, visiting from Moments of Hope

  4. So much THIS: "Sometimes God lets us knock on a door He’s not going to open." That's so true and I think so often we can forget that. Blessed to be your neighbor at the RaRa linkup this week.

  5. This is a great reminder today, friend. I am actually penning words to a post that have to do with the panging "loss" feeling when you want to go through an open door but know it probably isn't the right time. I have had habits in the past of over doing it, and when opportunities come my way I want to say yes to it all but can't or I know I will not be able to give my best. This speaks to me here as well, and will help me to remember truth when writing doors close and such. I appreciate you!

    Your neighbor @ Intentional Tuesday

  6. Great wisdom here. It is hard when the door doesn't open when it seems so right to us, but important to remember that God's plan is always better even if it is completely different from our own.

  7. Yes! God measures success so differently than I do, and I'm learning (along with you) to walk through the open doors and to leave my question marks about the closed ones to Him.

  8. Such a great story! I've recently had the same experience and afterwards I saw the heartache that the Lord protected me from in the situation. God knows what we need before we do! Visiting from #tellhisstory today :)

  9. I heard someone say once that we learn just as much from doors closing as from doors opening, God speaks through everything. Blessings as you continue to look for the right outlet to meet your gifts and needs!

  10. Laura, this is so apropos for me right now. Thank you for blessing me with doors and thoughts to ponder this day. God uses all we try to do ourselves and do not do to try to teach us those valuable lessons.

  11. This is truly a good word! I especially loved this line: "Failure is not knocking on a door that does not open, but rather choosing not to knock at all." And then if no one answers our knock, trust Him it is for the best.

    Thanks for sharing at The Loft!

  12. Can so empathize with your experience here. I had the same thing happen with the Hope Writers' invitation. I never realized how expensive it was and so when the invitation came my heart sunk: I was convinced this must be for me...but God had a different amazing thing waiting for me. At the time I spent the whole morning in the dumps till a Scripture convicted my heart to trust the Maker of the Heavens above myself! And wow what peace entered my heart as I surrendered to His will...and now I'm awaiting an amazing experience in October...miraculous doors opening to get me there...only God!! Oh yes...He grows and stretches us in the process of learning to see with His eyes.

    Thank you for this encouragement.

  13. So many great tweets in this post Laura, and the message is very freeing...knock and listen and wait.

  14. Such a great lesson. Several years ago we knocked on the door of heaven for God to save our home from short sale due to financial strain. It wasn't to be. We couldn't understand, still don't, but we know God's ways are higher than our own.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!