June 28

“A door opened in heaven.” Revelation 4:1

You must remember that John was in the Isle of Patmos, a lone, rocky, inhospitable prison, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. And yet to him, under such circumstances, separated from all the loved ones of Ephesus; debarred from the worship of the Church; condemned to the companionship of uncongenial fellow-captives, were vouchsafed these visions. For him, also a door was opened.

We are reminded of Jacob, exiled from his father’s house, who laid himself down in a desert place to sleep, and in his dreams beheld a ladder which united Heaven with earth, and at the top stood God. Not to these only, but to many more, doors have been opened into Heaven, when, so far as the world was concerned, it seemed as though their circumstances were altogether unlikely for such revelations. To prisoners and captives; to constant sufferers, bound by iron chains of pain to sick couches; to lonely pilgrims and wanderers; to women detained from the Lord’s house by the demands of home, how often has the door been opened to Heaven.

But there are conditions. You must know what it is to be in the Spirit; you must be pure in heart and obedient in faith; you must be willing to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ; then when God is all in all to us, when we live, move and have our being in His favor, to us also will the door be opened. (Streams in the Desert)

I never thought much about windows before living in a house with ones you could not see through. My wife and I are fortunate to live in an older farm home nestled comfortably into a somewhat private parcel of land dotted with only three other homes; in fact, our country lane bears the official monicker “Private Road.” One would be hard pressed to find a more idyllic homestead for a former African bush missionary more comfortable with azure sky and open country than sky scrapers and traffic congestion. I office in our barn, and routinely walk nearby Horseshoe Bend lined by occasional dairies spread far enough apart to grant breathing space. My wife serves a backyard smorgasbord that attracts everything from wild turkeys and broad shouldered hawks to phoebes and painted buntings. Apart from undesirable dust rising from the caliche road and intermittent clatter of vehicles navigating the black top that snakes by our oasis, tranquility dominates Private Road.

The windows on our little world gave up the ghost years ago. Seals installed to contain gas for insulation were compromised long before we moved in, leaving the farm house blind to its surrounding paradise. We tolerated the situation twelve years, not knowing how much we were missing until new windows were installed a few weeks ago. Peering at the world through clear glass is comparable to the first unobscured glimpse following cataract removal. Windows were made to disclose God’s glory, not distort it.

Clear windows do not draw attention to themselves; rather, they are catalysts to the Glory that surrounds. Each of us is a window through which someone gains their only glimpse of the Father. We are portholes to Providence. Pure hearts do more than grant right standing before the Almighty, they grant access for those who look to us for hope.

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