For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
After years of online teaching, I recently returned to the classroom at Carroll Community College. I love night classes. Typically, night students are non-traditional students who are busy with jobs and adult responsibilities; attending class in the evenings is a sacrifice, and they benefit from a little extra encouragement and support. I love making them feel welcome.
I arrived early for my 5:20pm class, eagerly ushering in the few students waiting in the hallway. At 5:20pm sharp, I closed the classroom door. Only eight of the registered eighteen students were present but I assumed more would trickle in late – it was only the first night.
30 minutes and halfway through my lecture later, there was a soft knock at the door. A girl poked her head in.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’m looking for my 5:30 class,” she whispered.
“This class started at 5:20.” I replied cheerily. “Sorry!”
“Okay,” she said, confused. “Do you know where I can find English 101 with Professor Phillips?”
“That’s me,” I said. “But class starts at 5:20.”
“It does?” she exclaimed. “My schedule says 5:30.”
“Mine too,” said a boy through the doorway behind her.
“And mine,” said the girl behind him.
One by one, all ten missing students filed into the classroom. I checked my own schedule. English 101: Room K224, 5:30pm.
“Oh no!” I wailed. “You were all out there this whole time?!”
Ten heads nodded.
“Why didn’t you just come in?!”
“The sign on the door,” said one.
Lord, You open the door to everyone who knocks, even those that feel unworthy. It is Your goodness and not our own that allow our words heard. Thank You for the fulfillment of Your promises without limits or conditions and for always being present.
Unbeknownst to me, laminated ‘Class In Session – Do Not Disturb’ signs hung from the outside of every classroom door. Despite wanting to make the students feel extra welcome, I had inadvertently shut half of them out.
In Matthew 7:8, God encourages us to be persistent. The verse implies constant action: Jesus is saying we should ask, seek, and then knock. We can’t be dissuaded by life’s Do Not Disturb signs – instead we are instructed to ask and keep asking, with full assurance that He hears us and answers the prayers that are offered in faith.
It was a very important lesson covered in class that night. When in doubt, always knock.
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