..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knocking Hard on Heaven's Door

I don't feel we knock hard enough on God's door.

For many years I have walked my dog along a
certain route which winds its way along the
back side of some small shops, one of them
being a sandwich shop. Over the years the
owner would see us pass by when she was out
on her break. My dog always raced to the
back door of where she worked because she
was always offered sizable snacks. My dog is
old now, but if you even mention the idea of
going for those snacks, she moves faster then
you can imagine.

The thing is, in the winter and during inclement
weather, the back door to the shop is closed,
which presents a small problem: making one's
presence known. Somehow or another it has
fallen upon me to knock on the back door so
that Zoe, the dog, can get her treats.

It goes something like this: We arrive, after
a mad dash, at the closed door. Zoe puts her ear
up to the door to listen. Then she looks at me:
"Do your knocking thing." Well, even though
the owner loves our visits, at that moment
I get a little hesitant and knock ever so
softly on the door: a tiny little "knock, knock."
Usually nothing happens. They can't hear us.

This may go on for a little while, while I
try to lure Zoe back toward walking. This
never works. I tell her, "They are not
home." She looks at me, puts her ear up
to the door, and says, "They most
certainly are." Then she lays herself down
and won't budge. When herself lays down,
there ain't nobody getting her up unless
she decides to. She'll look at my hand intently,
"Knock on the door!".

So I have learned to just swallow my silly
worries about bothering them and KNOCK
HARD ON THE DOOR. God has brought
this to my attention. He says, "I like it
when people are bold and knock hard."
I want you to knock on My door like that."

You know, when I do knock hard on this
earthly door, it just about always opens
and happy cries of love and friendship,
along with tasty rewards, always ensue.

I can say the same thing happens when I
knock loudly on heaven's door. Jesus said,
"Ask (and really, keep on asking), and it
shall be given to you "(Matthew 7:7).

I wonder why I ever hesitate. It is probably
because my dog has a better grasp of
importunity than I do. As Jesus teaches
us how to pray, He gives us the Lord's
prayer, then He launches into the parable
of the person who, oddly enough, is knocking
on their neighbor's door at some late hour
asking to borrow food (Luke 11:5). Hmmm,
I'm beginning to see the connection.

In Luke 18 there is a similar story about
a persistent widow who needs something
and keeps knocking, day and night, on
the judge's door to get what she needs.
The judge does not even care about her
but gives her what she needs just because
he won't have a moment's peace until he

Why does God ask us to keep knocking?
Why doesn't He always answer on the
first go-around? To make a long story
short: He wants us to visit often and
develop a confident faith in what He is
able to do. Asking once and giving up
means you don't want it that badly
or think that it probably won't happen.
It lacks the connection of on-going
relationship. There is a big difference
between timidity and fear of the Lord.

God tells us, through these parables,
that He likes people who bang loudly
at His door at all hours of the day and
night. That might strike our mannered
sensibilities at odd, but hey, if that is
the way to get answers, I say, "Knock
hard." Put your energy into storming
heaven instead of being jealous of
other people who do and because of
that are continually blessed and
favored by the Lord.

Take it from me, when you knock
hard, happy cries of love and
friendship, along with tasty rewards,
always ensue.

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