Open Doors

The dogwoods are beginning to blush in the early autumn air. Soon I’ll see long stretches of desert and razor wire, but this morning it’s good to be home and write, to mix ink with coffee.  Murphy is overseeing my work.  He, too, dreams of adventures.  At times, I  think I’ve seen him leading leopards on a hunt deep in the Serengeti.  The pack moves swift and silent, limb to limb, flying fur and fang. Murphy’s green eyes widen and whiskers twitch at the thought of it—just before slipping into another sleep on his perch here on the porch.  I think he has some Walter Mitty in him. This is the calm before the whirlwind. A time to prepare to step through the long passage that will lead to eight countries in the next few weeks.  In Ethiopia and along the banks of the White Nile, we will shoot the fifth episode of Dispatches from the Front. There, Islam’s crescent is cutting deep into the Horn of Africa.  Yet, the Wind of the Spirit is sweeping over the land with great Gospel force. There are amazing Kingdom stories to tell, and no doubt, surprises of grace along the way, too.  From there, I’m in Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan to scout out more paths for Gospel workers.

For too long, “impossible” has been written over these desert lands, these strongholds of Islam. Lord, do a work in our day that cannot be explained, except to say, “You alone are God. You are mighty to save!” I recall what Zwemer said of these hard places:

The kingdoms and the governments of this world have frontiers which must not be crossed, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ knows no frontier. It has never been kept within bounds. It is a message for the whole race, and the very fact that there are millions of souls who have never heard the message becomes the strongest of reasons why we must carry it to them. Every year we hear of further advance into these regions of the world by commerce, by travelers, and by men of science. If they can open a way for themselves, in spite of all these difficulties, shall the ambassadors of the Cross shrink back? God can open doors. He is “the Great Opener.” He opens the lips of the dumb to song, the eyes of the blind to sight, and the prison house to the captive. He opens the doors of utterance and entrance for the Gospel. He opens graves and gates, the windows of heaven and the bars of death. He holds all the keys of every situation.

These days, as I prepare for my long passage with its obstacles, I find myself echoing the words of the women on resurrection morning, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance?”  The stone before me is also beyond my strength. Lord Jesus, open the way. Fling aside the stone again, that we may see your glory.