Friday, December 20, 2013

when oceans rise


“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders; let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”
- Hillsong United, Oceans

I have sung this song in the quiet of my empty house. I have sobbed with it while sitting alone in my car. But have I really meant it?

Lead me where my trust is without borders.

Where is that?

I can tell you where it’s not. It’s not in my comfortable routine in my comfortable house living my comfortable life. It’s not sleeping in late and waking up to a to-do list of petty tasks that mean little on an eternal scale. It’s not cozy home-light and sameness, or the broad stone walls of self-preservation.

Then where is it?

Comfort zones are walls and borders, putting up a barrier between normalcy and the inconvenience of spontaneity. I won’t find a borderless trust here. I have to look in places I don’t necessarily want to go, in things I don’t fully want to do. I have to look in the change, the uncertainty, the lack of control. I have to risk the pain and the sadness. I have to choose to make my home in the unknown and uncontrollable, because they are the nature of this world. Control is all illusion; the reality of helplessness reigns.

Lead me where my trust is without borders? Do I want to ask for this? Do I want to ask God to put me in a place where my very terror forces me to develop trust?

I don’t. I don’t want to go through these things. I don’t want to open my tight fist and let go of all that I feel entitled to. It’s not fair! Why should I have to give anything up to serve God? Why can’t I have God and all of my stuff, my relationships, my comforts? Why?

Because if I could, He would not be a God worth having.

The One perfect, holy, flawless, sovereign, Creator-God will share His throne with no one and nothing. My heart must be rent down the center, open to every facet of His will—or else utterly closed, dark, cold, and little comforted by the things I’ve replaced Him with. To serve a God so big requires a commitment so big that there is no room for anything else. If I want to keep my “stuff,” I'll have to ask Him to move out.

So it’s a choice. Do I really want to say “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders”?

Or does “Spirit, lead me into a life of comfort, happiness, and ease” sound more accurate? “Spirit, lead me into a marriage to someone completely selfless who will never hurt me” or “Spirit, lead me into a supernatural ability to control circumstances for my own benefit” or “Spirit, lead me into the discovery of how to prevent anything bad from happening to my loved ones”? 

If I am honest, I must admit: “Spirit, I want You to make me God.”

I want control that is His alone. I want power that is His alone. I want perfection that is His alone. I want to solve the world’s evil, but I want to do it my way. I want everything to work out well for ME and the credit to go to ME and the rewards to satisfy ME.

The only cure is to let go. The only cure is to tear my heart open, to unfurl my white fists. To release everything I desperately seek to hold tight into the oblivion of His will. I feel like a child who just clumsily lost hold of the favorite toy she was dangling over the side of the ferry-boat—there is a lostness, a desperation, a fear, a sadness, an unknown. There is the interval before the toy hits the water in which I hope against hope that a miracle will happen and the toy will be restored. God is often much more forgiving than the ocean—often the thing surrendered is returned in abundance, not swallowed by the swirling depths. But there’s always that chance that it won’t be.

But how do I let go when it could mean surrendering to such terrible pain?

It requires trust without borders.

It requires me to know the true nature of my God—who He is, how He works. It requires me to know in my deepest soul, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is good. It requires me to believe implicitly that He loves me more than I love myself.

We do not know these things innately. Ever since Satan questioned Eve in the Garden, it has been our nature to question the goodness of God. We are far quicker to blame God for withholding something from us than we are to celebrate Him for all that He’s given us. To know the nature of God for what it is—good—we must study Him, pursue Him, seek Him, find Him. We must immerse ourselves in His Word and allow our hearts to memorize His story. He has given us exactly what we need to know His character and allow Him full access to our lives—we just have to receive it and allow it to work in us.

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders.

1 comment:

  1. This post almost made me cry (reading things doesn't usually make me cry). You opened up a whole new meaning to this song for me. Thank you.



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