God’s Back Door


There is a story told of an outbreak of fleas that happened in one of the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. This was a women’s concentration camp called Ravensbruk. Between 1939 and 1945 over 130,000 women passed through this camp, with over 50,000 dying from disease, starvation, overwork, or the gas chamber. One of the survivors was a Dutch Christian woman named Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie and her family had been hiding Jews in their home in the Netherlands to protect them from the Nazis. When they were caught for helping these Jewish people, Corrie and her family were sent to concentration camps. Corrie and her sister Betsy were placed in the same barracks. The flea outbreak in their barracks compounded the unimaginable suffering the women were experiencing. Then something unexplainable happened. The Nazi guards stopped going into that particular barracks because of the severity of the flea outbreak and quarantine. This gave Corrie the freedom to have Bible studies for all of the women in their barracks, and she led many of these ladies to Jesus Christ! God used those fleas to protect the women from more potential abuse from the Nazi guards. More so, God used those fleas to save their souls and to preserve their lives! By his mighty power God used the apparent “negative” circumstance of those fleas as a “back door” to keep the Nazis from going in the front door of their barracks!

Sometimes God will use a “back door” to fulfill His plan for our lives! To our human logic, these back doors make no sense at all, back doors such as cancer, poverty, injuries, abuse, and fleas. It seems that our human nature drifts constantly toward a strong yearning to control our lives, to remain in comfort, and to understand more than we are meant to understand. Because God loves us, if He can’t get our attention by knocking on the front door, He may, by His grace, come pounding on the back door. I have a personal example:

Years ago, I was a dedicated professional baseball player in the minor league system of the Detroit Tigers. I had settled it in my heart to make it to the Major Leagues at any cost. God was using the baseball platform to reach people for Christ, so it made “sense” to me to work hard, and make it to the major leagues, and be able to reach many people for Christ along the way. During the second year of my pro baseball career I had a freak injury to my pitching shoulder that, for the most part, nailed shut the door for me to continue in baseball…this was a major life disappointment that left me lost!

In retrospect, I think that bizarre shoulder injury to my pitching arm was the only way I would have stopped playing baseball. It was an unusual injury that happened in an unusual way at an unusual time. If I am to be honest with you, I will tell you that there is NO WAY I would have left pro baseball to go into Christian ministry if God had told me to do so using a more obvious and “conventional” front door approach. If He had, or if He did (which He very well may have knocked on the front doors and I missed His knocking) speak to me in a more subtle, non-career-ending-injury approach, I would have dismissed it! I would have ignored it, or explained it away, or I may have simply disobeyed God because I wanted to do what I wanted to do in pro baseball. As God used those fleas in the women’s barracks as a back door to protect Corrie Ten Boom and the women from the Nazis, so God used that injury as a back door to shake me into finally considering life without baseball. Now, 27 years after that back door freak injury to my pitching shoulder, I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten on my knees and thanked God for allowing me to get injured. Long story short…the back door of that career-ending injury was used of God to release me from plan B, pro baseball, to plan A — vocational ministry!

A wise mentor once asked me, “is there any reason for you to not to do the obvious?” He was right in that particular instance, and in a good number of situations doing the obvious may well be the will of God. I think many times God will lead us to do the “obvious.” However, the “danger” about getting into a long-term Christian pattern of always doing the “obvious” and continually dismissing the non-obvious, opens us up to this dangerous thing—our sinful, controlling, comfortable, human nature! Our nature, even those of us who love God, can become very routine and busy, and without even realizing it our obvious routine can become a way of us being “lord” over our lives instead of Jesus Christ.

So…that “thing” that we continually dismiss as not being God’s will for us, well, that “thing” may be the very “thing” that God has for us, but…we may miss it if we are not careful. The last “thing” we could ever imagine ourselves doing, that “thingmay be the very thing we were created to do! Is there “something(s)” you dismiss as not God’s will for you without giving it a second thought? Could it be going on a mission trip, or leaving your career to take a salary cut to enter vocational ministry? Maybe it is breaking up with the person you are dating, the person that you are in love with, because it is not the best person God has for you? Maybe it is giving and tithing more, or starting to give for the first time? Maybe it is serving in ministry somewhere? Maybe it is simply letting God have the deepest part of your life?

Are there any front doors that God is, and has been, knocking on in our lives that we missed and may be currently missing? Has God now begun to use a back door?

For God’s front & back doors,


Scott Nute

Scott Nute November 1, 2016 Filed in Blog 2 Responses