It is nearly twelve months since, here in the United Kingdom, society was ‘put into lockdown’. How we live our lives has changed in so many ways. For some they have had to deal with bereavement, for others, changes in employment and for many saints these times have been and remain times of anxiety. Routines that underpinned so much of our way of life have been challenged and for many it has prompted a time of reflection on what is important in their lives. For some older saints, who have understandably built their lives around assembly ‘meetings’, it is especially hard when such gatherings are prohibited and much of the ‘truth’ for which they feel they have stood faithfully is apparently under attack. For young believers, there are equally difficult challenges – lack of fellowship, changing opportunities for service, uncertainty, and difference of opinions among those whom they should be able to look up to, to point out a few.
How does a Christian work through these thoughts and challenges, and has God stopped working with His people just because the doors of the ‘Meeting Hall’ are closed?
To answer the latter question first: ‘No’! Throughout scripture, there is evidence of God working behind closed doors! God shut Noah in to protect him and his family while He dealt with an evil world. It was from behind a closed door that God provided for the needs of a desperate widow,2 Kgs. 4. 4. It was behind a closed door that God worked to restore life in a family where a child had been lost,v. 33. Our Lord Himself promoted the privacy of shutting ourselves behind a door, Matt. 6. 6, and the greatest miracle ever performed was wrought by the Godhead behind a closed door, 27. 60! Such was the impact of the reality of this miracle, that it transformed an anxious company of God’s people, who were shut away behind closed doors, into a ‘glad’, John 20. 20, bold band of witnesses which ‘turned the world upside down’, Acts 17. 6.
In the circumstances we are living through and which God in His infinite understanding has allowed, let us be careful that we do not mistake His care for carelessness. Equally, let us ensure we take the opportunity of being behind ‘closed doors’, to search the scriptures honestly and diligently and allow the Spirit of God to test our understanding of them in order that we ensure we have rooted our convictions four-square in the word of God and not mere traditions we may have soaked up through years of stale habit.
As we wait for His Son from heaven, it is the prayer of the committee, that what writers have contributed to this issue of the magazine, will, in some small way, encourage us all to refresh our love for the Lord and rekindle our zeal for the truths found in the pages of holy writ.
Let us never forget that there is a gracious purpose and amazing power to protect, provide and provoke us, which is only to be learnt in solitude, behind closed doors!