Out of Context | When God Closes a Door He Opens a Window

posted by Alex Crosby | Feb 23, 2022

We’ve all been there. A big promotion that you were really hoping for, doesn’t come your way. A new job offer falls through at the last second. An acceptance letter never comes from the college that you had your heart set on. Disappointment in the final hour. It’s not a fun place to be, but it is one that can be all too familiar to us. 

So when it happens to someone else, we know the feeling. We know the ache of disappointment of what could have been. We offer the best we can at that moment. Words of reassurance that God remains in control, and that he will take care of his people.

One of the phrases that gets offered is: “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” As if God doesn’t understand how doors work, the phrase would suggest that we are to crawl out the window as a way out. While I earnestly understand the sincerity of this statement when it is offered in times of emotional dismay, I also know that I do not serve a God who has a contingency plan to a problem. What God wills to happen, so it shall be. 

In the book of Genesis, we read a story about a man named Joseph. He was the 12th and favorite son of Jacob. Throughout the story of His life, he knew ups and downs. He was sold into slavery by his brothers because they hated him. He worked for a powerful man named Potiphar and gained his favor until Potiphar’s wife accused of something he didn’t do, and Joseph was sent to Prison. While there, he was able to gain the trust of the guard and was even able to use his gift of dream interpretation. And one day, he was called before Pharaoh to interpret his dream. Because of the correct interpretation, Joseph was lifted up to become the second most powerful person under Pharaoh and be able to bless his family in a time of great famine on the land. 

One phrase that occurs numerous times during Joseph’s story, is the phrase: “but God was with Joseph.” God never left Joseph. Not in slavery, not for being wrongly accused, not in prison, not for even the place of success that he rose to. God stayed with Joseph, no matter what. 

While I feel that it is a safe bet that many of us have been wrongly accused of something in our lives, the hardships of our lives pale in comparison to what Joseph experienced. Joseph knew what it meant to rely upon the Lord in hard times and have faith that God was in control of his situation. When we experience the disappointment of unmet expectations, or the reality of loss sets in, we must hold tight to this truth: “Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.” These words are written by the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3:1. He is another man who knew a thing or two about disappointment and loss. But he also had great trust in faith in God in those hard times. 

So next time you are tasked with sharing in someone’s great disappointment, offer them words of hope that come from the scriptures. Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” He will make your paths straight, not lead you out the window. He is never shocked by the things that happen in our world. And while we may feel overwhelmed and fearful, He is not. He remains in control and his will is sure.