Hinges and Locks

Posted on: February 28th, 2011 by Kay Swatkowski

Hinges and Locks

“…in quietness and trust is your strength..” Isaiah 30:15

For Francis and Edith Schaeffer, shuttering their home in the Alps to the constant stream of seekers was easier said than done.  The needs were unending; the requests for counsel and support unrelenting.

As a strategic player in the mountain retreat at L’Abri, time and again Edith Schaeffer wore out as she unbolted her heart and home to hundreds of students coming to her theologian and philosopher husband, hoping to renew their minds and rediscover faith.

Many years ago, I heard Edith remark that when she realized that doors have locks as well as hinges, she found an open door for restoring a healthy balance between personal, home and ministry life.

Frequently closing the door to renew and refresh her own mind, as well, as enjoy the family God had given her, required grit and a commitment to God’s Word, renewal and rest.

Christian families often functions as if doors only have hinges. The gates swing wide open for the needs of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. Everyone has access.

Opportunities to renew the heart and  mind through reading, rest, prayer, solitude or reflection seems indulgent rather than indispensable.

The predictable fatigue, discouragement and negativity breeds confusion and guilt.  Serving becomes a burden, relationships crack, joy evaporates, exhaustion overwhelms us  as we react to life and the next pressing need.

We wonder what has gone wrong with our souls.

Author, Phillip Gulley, expresses our dilemma with these words:  “Elton Trueblood talked about how we’re a cut flower world.  We sever things from their life source and expect them to flourish.  And we cut ourselves off from God and are dismayed when our lives wilt and fade…..We want joy and beauty, but we want them without having to stay connected to the One who gives them.”

A renewed mind is a beautiful and joyful thing.  A renewed and healthy mind flourishes when we attach to the One who restores both mind and soul. It requires grit and a commitment to barring the door and spending time only with Him.

When our spirits are nourished and renewed, we have so much more to give to our families.  The deposits we make in our grandchildren’s lives will come from a place of fullness and joy.

So, pull the shades. Turn off the phone. Pretend no one is home if you must.  Remember doors have both hinges and locks.

Spend time alone with God and renew your mind and heart.

Here’s what I want you to do:  Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.  Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.  The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his   grace.”  Matthew 6:6 , The Message

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3 Responses

  1. Elaine Mehn says:

    The timing of this for my life is perfect. We are in the middle of house re-modeling as well as having lots of company – not the best combination. It is such an encouragement to me to remember to keep my heart filled with Jesus by taking the time I need to be rested and refreshed.

  2. Jenn says:

    This is absolutely a message I needed to hear…and something I never gave a lot of thought to…talking about great timing! Thanks so much for sharing this!! Cheers, Jenn.

  3. Kathy says:

    Lovely message with great timing!


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