In 1955 Smiley Lewis recorded the Song I hear you knockin’, but you can’t come in. It was an early, slow rock and roll song that was covered by Fats Domino, who had more success with it than Smiley did. Fats Domino went on to fame and fortune, while Smiley’s career languished and he died in poverty.
I thought of this song recently while thinking about how often I hear God knocking and trying to help me, but I won’t let Him in. The free will (it might also be called ego) that God gave mankind can also act as a door to keep Him out when we most need him. We toil through life trying to solve things ourselves, letting our egos get in the way; rather than letting Him take our burdens and help.
Do you hear God knocking on your door? Do you let Him in? If not, why not? Is it because your ego won’t let you admit that you need help?
Men in particular seem to be less inclined to ask God for help with troubles in their lives. I’m not sure why we are “trained” to “keep a stiff upper lip” or when we are indoctrinated in a culture of stoic resolve to solve all problems without help. I remember the “big boys don’t cry” admonishments as a child and the “shake it off” advice for almost any hurt while growing up and the “suck it up” guidance for dealing with pain or disappointments. I suspect that athletics in general contribute greatly to that self-image of being able to live with pain.
Women seem to be so much better at sharing their problems and needs with other women and I suspect in turning to God for help in troubled times. I wonder if there is a difference in women athletes in that regard, since athletics is one area where the whole “macho” image thing is an important factor. The whole concussion problem that we now take very seriously grew out of the macho “shake it off” creed of athletics. So, I wonder if female athletes, especially those engaged in contact sports (which include soccer) develop a more insular approach to life and religion because of the stoicism required for those sports. Do they hear God knockin’ but they won’t let Him in? I suspect that it is not the case, as it is with men.
I’m just not sure when the “Jesus loves me” messages of Sunday School were replaced by the “Don’t share with others and don’t ask God” stoicism of adult life. Fortunately, I found my way back to that trust in God that we all started with as children, before adult cynicism settled in. I am neither reluctant nor ashamed to ask for God’s help when I need it, which is more often than my ego used to let me admit.
So what are we to do when we hear Him knockin’? Just ignore the quiet little voice saying, “Let me help you” and go about life in pain or desperation? I think rather than say,”I hear you knockin’, but you can’t come in”, perhaps we should take the approach of another song, this one a contemporary Christian song by Chris Tomlin and say, “Lord I need you.”
How will you respond when He knocks on your door today?