Sunday morning, just outside Lima, Peru, I found myself inside a orphanage for special needs boys. I have to admit, however, that it looked more like a prison to me. Ten foot walls surrounded the compound, bars covered the windows of the barracks, and several rather serious-looking security guards walked the area. With the exception of a small plot of land used for farming, the entire place was made of bricks and cement.
Though the staff at the Nino Jesus de Praga home does a great job with these sometimes-difficult boys, there's no denying that their concrete jungle of a home is a dreary, even sad, place. Few of us, left to our own devices, would choose to live there. I certainly wouldn't.
When our time with the boys was over, our team each grabbed a box lunch from the bus and were directed toward an exit near the back of the orphanage. As the door was opened for me by one of the security guards, my jaw fell. On the other side of the giant wall - not more than a hundred yards away - was the Pacific Ocean. I had been at Nino Jesus de Praga for three hours, and I had no idea that one of the most beautiful views in the world was so close.
While these particular children clearly needed the safety and security of their surroundings, I couldn't help but ask myself a few questions after walking through this "secret door." How often do I focus on the sad or depressing or scary stuff in my life, completely unaware that God has something amazing waiting for me right around the corner? How often do I wallow in my own, personal concrete jungle...totally naive of the beauty that awaits me on the back side of my fear or pain or rejection?
Jeremiah 29:11 promises us "a hope and a future." That means, no matter what you're going through today, no matter how dreary or sad or depressing your life appears to be, God has something remarkable waiting on the other side of it. It might take awhile. It might be hidden right now. It might not even be what you're expecting. But it's coming.
And when God opens a door, the view is guaranteed to be breathtaking.