Today I was invited to preach at a Texas State Prison with 2800 inmates. It was one of the most humbling experiences. There were men from every background, ethnicity, etc. But, when the music started and we began to worship, none of that mattered. We were in one mind and one accord. Just like the day of pentecost. (Today is actually Pentecost Sunday!)
I’m convinced now more than ever that perspective can change everything. And this is probably nowhere truer than when we’re talking about the struggles faced in prison.
Most of us think of our struggles – our circumstances, obstacles, and enemies – as walls. They’re there to set us back or hold us back. We avoid them at all costs. When we encounter them, we usually turn back because after all, who wants to climb a wall? Especially a wall that can sometimes seem insurmountable.
But the truth is your circumstances and obstacles aren’t walls. They’re not there to set you back. In reality, they’re there to set you up.
Your struggles are not walls, they are doors.
Doors to the next level in your relationship with God. Doors that lead to a new horizon of His favor. They’re the necessary passageways through which all of us must pass to get to the place God is taking us to. And until you go through them, you can’t get there.
You can see this truth repeat itself throughout the Bible:
Slavery and prison put Joseph in position and served as his door to save millions.
Goliath gave David a stage and served as his door to public promotion.
The cross gave Jesus the means of His death and served as His door to save the world.
Imagine if any of these men had not gone through their doors. Imagine if instead, they saw them as walls. As things to be avoided or run from.
Millions would have starved to death in Egypt.
The whole David and Goliath story would eliminate 40% of sermons ever preached.
We would still be in our sins.
Luckily all we can do is imagine. I hope the same can be said about the doors you face in life. I’d rather you imagine what life would have been like had you not opened them, than to have to imagine what it might look like on the other side if you had.
Whatever circumstance, struggle, or enemy you’re facing, don’t turn around. God has something for you on the other side better than what you have now. And it’s something you’ll never experience until you walk through the door.