This morning I went to the car to go to work and found, to my dismay, that my doors were frozen shut. I pulled and I tugged and nothing happened. I tried all four doors with the same result.
I should have known that this would happen, though. Yesterday it rained all day and then the temperature dropped drastically to 0 and 1 degrees with a windchill of around -30. Put those together and you have a recipe for disaster.
I went inside and told my wife what was happening. I called in to work and said I would probably be late, if I came in at all. My wife helped me find a teapot and we boiled some water and I was able to get the driver door opened. But then, my windows frosted over on the inside and, as I went to close the driver door, it refused to close. It just bounced back at me. I gently set it shut in such a way as to allow the dome light to turn off and returned to the house to go back to bed.
As I look back over this morning’s events, I think God was trying to show me something.
Sometimes, in our spiritual life, the doors are frozen shut. We can force them open with a little hot water, but that only creates new problems. When the doors are frozen shut, sometimes it is just better to let God thaw them out and open them for you.
The problem is, for the doors to thaw, you have to wait. Sometimes for a really long time.
In all the scraping of the windshield and the running of the car, I didn’t notice a very important thing about mornings like this one: the silence. As I scraped and muttered to myself and slammed around, I missed those few moments in the early morning after a winter storm when not a single sound can be heard.
This is what God wants us to see when the doors are frozen shut. Or rather hear. He wants us to just stand in the chilly air and listen to the sound of silence.
I remember a story from long ago about the Prophet Elijah. God told him to go up onto a high mountain because He was on His way there.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-12 TNIV)
And wouldn’t you know: God was in that gentle whisper. And had Elijah not been paying attention and listening and watching for His presence, he would have missed it completely.
Next time the doors are frozen, I am not going to spend my time hammering and scraping. I am going to stand back and listen for that “gentle whisper” that comes after all the noise has ceased and all that you can hear is silence.