There is a famous passage of Scripture that many people have heard in the context of an invitation to know Christ as Savior. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in (Rev. 3:20 nkjv). He does not force himself upon us. He knocks, and waits for us to ask him in. There is an initial step, the first step of this, which we call salvation. We hear Christ knocking and we open our hearts to him as Savior. It is the first turning. But the principle of this “knocking and waiting for permission to come in” remains true well into our Christian life.
You see, we all pretty much handle our brokenness in the same way—we mishandle it. It hurts too much to go there. So we shut the door to that room in our hearts, and we throw away the key—much like Lord Craven locks the Secret Garden upon the death of his wife and buries the key. But that does not bring healing. Not at all. It might bring relief—for a while. But never healing. Usually it orphans the little girl in that room, leaves her to fend for herself. The best thing we can do is to let Jesus come in; open the door and invite him in to find us in those hurting places.
It might come as a surprise that Christ asks our permission to come in and heal, but he is kind, and the door is shut from the inside, and healing never comes against our will. In order to experience his healing, we must also give him permission to come in to the places we have so long shut to anyone. Will you let me heal you? He knocks through our loneliness. He knocks through our sorrows. He knocks through events that feel too close to what happened to us when we were young—a betrayal, a rejection, a word spoken, a relationship lost. He knocks through many things, waiting for us to give him permission to enter in.
And that’s the memo.
By John Eldredge