They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.
That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans. (THE MESSAGE)
Life can sometimes seem like walking down a long corridor trying various doors that open off that corridor. Some doors seem open without effort on our part. Other doors look promisingly ajar and invite us to enter but won’t budge when we try them. Yet other doors remain firmly closed even as we wonder what might be beyond them.
It was a bit like this for Paul and his companions. Going through modern day Turkey, they sought to do the obvious thing: preach the gospel in that region to which God has led them. For reasons not described, they couldn’t do what they planned to do and what seemed right for them to do.
Eventually, with those doors closed, one door opened up over in modern day Greece. It wasn’t as if it was a bad or unwise thing to preach where they intended to preach. It was just that God had a different and better idea. Those closed doors didn’t mean their ministry was thwarted. It simply meant the ministry was redirected.
At times, the bright and reasonable plans we make are frustrated and we get frustrated. We may even stubbornly linger at a closed door and butt our heads against it in futility. And we may then miss that open door beckoning at the end of the corridor. Our plans may well be good, but God’s plans are invariably better.