Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Joy of an Open Door

Meditation for the week of December 4, 2011

Revelation 3:8  "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

A door usually keeps people out.  When it is open, it allows people in.  An open door is inviting.  A closed door can seem formidable.  I know how a closed door can affect a person because I have knocked on a lot of closed doors while distributing Gospel literature.  

I assume that the open door in this church represents an opportunity to serve the Lord.  When the Lord opens the door, that is a lot better than when we try to force the door open.

A year ago the Lord gave me an open door where I could have spent some time with a person who needed a ride and was looking for a job.  I was busy and I missed the opportunity that the Lord provided me.  It has bothered me ever since that I didn’t walk through that open door.  But the Lord is a Lord of second chances.  On Thursday night of this week, I was doing some shopping at a local Walmart when four girls in their late teens approached me and wanted “some change.”  They explained how embarrassing it was to ask for help but that they needed gas to get back to Cedar Rapids which is about 50 miles down the road.  One of the girls had pink streaks in platinum blond hair and nose rings.  The others were a little more conventional in their appearance.  In talking to them, the girl with the nose rings said that if I wasn’t able to help them, they understood.  They had come to Waterloo to meet some guy who was going to give them gas money and when they got here somehow he couldn’t help them.  Now I know that story doesn’t make any kind of sense so in this day and age it was probably true.  Anyway, I told the girls that I could help them but I wasn’t sure that I should.  Again, the girl with the piercings said, “You are afraid we are going to use the money to buy drugs, right?”  I said, “Yes!”  She promised me that wouldn’t be the case but did say that she knew that the way she looked most people would assume that.  I told them that I wouldn’t give them money but I would put gas in their car.  So they went to the local HyVee pumps and waited for me to finish shopping so I could meet them there.  They did not hang around Walmart once I offered to help so apparently they didn’t try to use their plight to beg from others once their need was met.

When I got to HyVee, I put 4 gallons of gas in their car and then told them that I had a request. They asked what it was.  I said that I was an evangelist and wanted them to read some literature.  They did not know what an evangelist was or what the message of the Bible was.  One of the girls had gone to a Bible school, probably a vacation Bible school.   I explained what an evangelist was which gave me a chance to present the Gospel to them.  I gave them a copy of my tract which tells how I came to trust the Lord and asked them to promise me that they would read it.  I told them that if they wanted more information they could go to my website or call me or write to me.  All the needed information was on the tract.  The girl with the piercings was driving the car and she said I was a lifesaver.  She thanked me and said she would read the literature.  The other three girls promised to read it as well.  It is my hope and prayer that I hear from at least one of those girls again.  But if I don’t, should they miss out on heaven, they will know that the Lord loved them and that he tried to reach them with the Gospel. 

Earlier in the afternoon, I had been at a McDonald’s and an older man had approached me with and asked me if I would read something when I got done on the computer.  He then gave me some Gospel literature and an invitation to his church.  He was doing a good work and he was doing it in a respectful way.  But as I thought on the day, I realized that it is so much better to have the Lord open the door than to try to open it yourself.  If we were really controlled by the Holy Spirit, I wonder if my experience with the girls would be a usual rather than an unusual experience.

I may never meet those girls again.  But it gave me great joy to know that the Lord trusted me enough to bring them across my path, particularly when I had failed him before.   I am thankful that I wasn’t so busy with the Lord’s work this time that I failed to take advantage of an opportunity to do the Lord’s work.     

Bruce Collins

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