A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse

A heart for those who want more of God. A desperate plea for those who don't.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Leaving Good for Best

“God never closes one door without opening another”. I have no idea who said this and when, but I’ve heard it many times, and I’m sure it’s stitched on a decorative pillow that’s sitting on the sofa arm of some well-intentioned person as I speak, ready to greet with spiritual optimism whoever decides to park their tuchus next to it. Kind of like my pretty lace Fruit of the Spirit wall-hanging that adorns my bathroom, opportunistically sharing scripture with whoever comes in to answer nature’s call.

Well, a big door is closing. And I know a new door is opening. I even have a fairly decent knowledge of what’s at least in the first room behind the new door. The doorway is a thick one, however, and I’m just sort of waiting for the time to arrive when I can push the door all the way open and take the first step through it.

I have peace amidst all the door noise. In fact, I have more than peace. I have hope and I have love and I have joy, which stems from the knowledge inside that I am in God’s will. Yet there’s a layer of sadness encircling what truly is joy, showing me that every silver lining has a cloud, I guess. There are a lot of things in the old room that I adored. A lot of things that are precious to me. A lot of things that added beauty and laughter to the backdrop of everyday life. Leaving them is bittersweet, as I know they will continue to be beautiful and enjoyable and I just won’t get to experience them in the same way anymore, even though there is excitement in knowing that God has plans for me on the other side of the door. It is a great gift of God’s wisdom that I know all these things can exist in me at the same time and not be in conflict.

Sometimes a door opening takes the form of a ram struggling in the thicket, providing something less painful to sacrifice when you’ve shown God that you’re willing to give up what’s most precious to you. Sometimes God tests you to in order to show you your true priorities, and He doesn’t end up taking away what you thought He might.

Sometimes, though, a door opening requires the knife to tear into our beloved precious thing – or perhaps requires nails piercing Beloved hands and feet – and that beloved precious thing is altered, scarred, or maybe even destroyed permanently by our determined persistent obedience to the belief that no matter how unfathomable to us it may seem, God’s plan is always Best. God’s plan is always Best because He is Best and Perfect and will not lead us away from Him, no matter how painful the cost may be.

Sometimes we are called to leave what is Good in order to take hold of what is Best, and what makes Best Best is not in its comparative qualities when judged next to what’s Good. What makes it Best is that it’s God’s plan.

Good may be a place of belonging, a place where I am needed and welcomed. Good may display great quality, polish, appearance, and be buoyed with honest good intentions. Good may provide comfort, joyful memories, and a safe place to hide when it all becomes too hard. Good may be sweet to the palate, and even satisfying and nourishing to the soul. Good is unquestionably good.

Best may be a place where I never quite fit, where I’m not even noticed, let alone necessary. Best may be messy, vulnerable, unfinished and therefore starkly un-obvious in regards to its true fruit-bearing potential. Best may be a lonely, painful wilderness which forces me to take measures I would never require of myself if I didn’t have to. Best may taste bitter, sour, and bring an unexpected emptiness that drives me to my knees for relief. But if it is God’s will, than it is indeed Best.

I know Good. Good is unquestionably good. I don’t yet know Best. But I will. Just by stepping through the doorway, flooded with a peace that has brought a stillness I could never inherit from anything of this world, I am assured of nothing but the promise that He is guiding every step, that victory is already mine; that I need no other promise in which to cling to. Best.



    1. Paul, this is very kind of you. Thank you. Jen