Every time I hear “God opens a window when he closes a door,” “God will take care of it,” ” Have faith, God will save you” I wonder if we are so helpless we can’t, in the face of difficulties, do anything more than pray for help. 

75-RoxburyWindow-NIK-1Why should helplessness be comforting?

What makes you think God closed that door? Maybe the wind blew it shut. Maybe some passerby gave it a push.

God may take care of you in a spiritual sense, but practically speaking, for every person I know who feels God saved them, there are many more who didn’t survive. I prefer “God helps them who help themselves.” Because it suggests we have the equipment to survive. that we are not entirely at the mercy of forces beyond our control.

So when that door closes, walk over, brace yourself, and open the window. You don’t need to ask God to do what you can do yourself.

I believe with free will comes responsibility. If scripture means anything, God gave us gifts — intelligence, reason, creativity. We know right from wrong, understand good and evil.

I don’t believe clouds have silver linings, but I believe storms are okay. We need rain and wind. It’s part of life, the normal ups and downs. Rain is not worse or less valuable than sunshine, only different. You may not like rain, but the earth loves it.

There are many things over which we have no control. The road we travel is unmapped and full of potholes. We can’t fix all the broken things and death is the only certainty. And those pesky taxes.

But while we have life, we have choices to make and responsibilities to meet. If we can’t make everything go as we want, we can do the best we can to take care of ourselves and each other, do the best we can with what we have. Pick good occupations and partners. Make friends who will support us through good times and bad. Look for solutions to problems and treatment for illness.

We don’t have to wait for a higher power to take care of us. We are grown ups. Expecting God to take care of every boo-boo is infantile.

Do I think prayers get answered? Uh huh. But sometimes the answer is “No.”  No one — mortal or deity — promised to make all the bad stuff go away or said life would be easy. So, I’ll continue do my best to take care of me and mine as long as I’m able. Because I think that’s what I’m supposed to do.

19 thoughts on “WHEN A WINDOW OPENS

  1. http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com January 8, 2014 / 2:48 am

    Practical philosophy. It reminds me of the Russian proverb: “Pray to God,but keep rowing towards shore.” As you say, we have to do our part through actions that move us forward, asking for God’s blessing, but taking the steps ourselves.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 9:13 am

      The Arabs say “Trust in God and tie your camel.” WE say “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” Pretty much every culture advises against assuming that you don’t have to do anything but wait for God to do it for you 🙂


  2. Hot Rod Cowgirl January 8, 2014 / 2:52 am

    Amen and right on:) God is with us always, but He also expects us to use effort…and also to listen to Him…and to seek His path and I know for sure if we seek it He will give us that path…He will:) But we have to desire it and take the steps that open the door for His help:)


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 9:11 am

      Thank you! Mainly, I get tired of people substituting God for their own efforts … or for that matter THINKING. We are the animal that thinks and if we abandon that, what are we?


      • Hot Rod Cowgirl January 8, 2014 / 2:03 pm

        If we do that we become more of an animal…our faith and hope keeps us going as we know that Jesus is guiding us onward! I know that God will give us the desires of our hearts but we have to also work as He designed us to work and to keep going forward and our focus on Him for He will strengthen us and guide us. Happy Wednasty Weather Day here….we had freezing rain so it is slowly thawing out but very icy….ugh!


        • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 5:09 pm

          It’s bitter cold here. I wanted to take some pictures, but it was just too cold, even for a few minutes. At least it isn’t snowing!


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 9:10 am

      I have this thing with platitudes that everyone accepts as wisdom. So much of the time, I find them more annoying than wise. Or completely baffling!


      • fictionfitz January 8, 2014 / 10:09 am

        I think if there is wisdom, there should also be humility.


  3. alienorajt January 8, 2014 / 7:46 am

    Brilliant! Quite agree! xxx


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 8:18 am

      Thanks. It didn’t quite come out like I wanted. I need one more go round on this one 🙂


  4. Doobster418 January 8, 2014 / 10:03 am

    Well, you know that I’m an atheist, but I still enjoyed your story. You got a chuckle out of me when you wrote, “What makes you think God closed that door? Maybe the wind blew it shut.”

    Your post reminded me of the story about a guy who was desperately clinging to the roof of his house as flood waters rose. A man came by in a canoe and asked the guy if he needed help. “No, God will save me,” replied the man on the roof. About an hour later, another man in a power boat came by and asked the guy to hop into his boat. “No, God will save me,” he replied. A few hours later a police helicopter hovered above the guy’s roof and they lowered a rope and told the guy they’d haul him up. “No, God will save me,” he yelled up to the men in the helicopter. A few hours later, the water rose, covering the guy’s roof and he drowned.

    When he arrived at the pearly gates, he saw God and asked God why he had forsaken him. God just shook his head in disbelief and answered, “I didn’t forsake you, you idiot. I sent a canoe to rescue you. Then I sent a power boat. Finally, I sent a freakin’ helicopter. I know you mortals believe that I am all-powerful and work in mysterious ways, but you do, occasionally need to think for yourselves.”


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 5:07 pm

      I’m not an atheist, but I can’t say what I belive either. I remain permanently uncommitted. I do have a lot of religious friends and they range from very CAN DO people to a bunch who excuse terminal sloth by saying they are leaving it to God. As the Arabs say — Trust in God, but tie your camel!


  5. jcalberta January 8, 2014 / 11:09 am

    There are many conditions that come into play in the spiritual theatre. How can say what’s right for another?
    I have a coffee mug that says “When God closes a door … he always opens another. But it’s Hell in the hallway.”
    I’ve found this to be true – for myself. Pretty often I don’t like the other doorway – or don’t even see it – or outright refuse it. Usually regretting that later.
    It isn’t easy.
    YES, it usually requires some footwork of our own. But … I’ve had too many miracles in my Life to lock any doors.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 5:05 pm

      Miracles are great and I’ve experienced a few of my own. But I think we should also at least make an effort to do our best. Too many people look for help before they look for solutions and it bothers me.


  6. James Langston January 8, 2014 / 11:19 am

    Awesome post. I completely agree. Ppl too often want to say that things are out of their control. They may find that comforting or they may be trying to excuse their lack of motivation. We are all given gifts by a higher power, all that is expected is that we use them.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 8, 2014 / 5:03 pm

      Thank you! Too many people give up without trying to cope. Yes, there are things that we have no control over, but there are things we can make better with some effort. I get tired of people acting like babies.


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