Have you heard the song “Oceans” by Hillsong? If you haven’t, I recommend you take some time for a listen, just click here. The whole song sticks with me, but in thinking about trusting God and what that looks like, there are some lines that really stick out to me. Seriously, this song. On repeat.
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
The opposite of trust is disbelief and uncertainty. Disbelief stems out of fear. In Mark 9, we hear a story of Jesus healing a boy who had an evil spirit within him. The boy’s father asks Jesus to heal his son. Only this is how he phrases the question: “Jesus, if you can, heal my son.” Jesus is a little put off by this and makes the comment that “everything is possible for one who believes.” You see, somewhere along the way, we heard that Jesus can heal, but we still put the clause in there that allows for disbelief. This is how we act: Jesus, we’ve heard you can do miracles, but just in case you can’t, I’m not going to get my hopes up. So, Jesus, if you can, will you move? Somewhere along the way we forget that God’s grace abounds in the deepest waters. We can’t even understand it all; God’s grace is so good it blows our minds.
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Psalm 48:14 tells us God is one “who guides us till the end of time.” I love that. God wants us to love him and love our neighbors. Augustine said (I am paraphrasing a bit here) that if you read the Scriptures and come up with any conclusion that doesn’t result in love, you have not understood the Scriptures. So, if God is sovereign (in control) and is our guide, we are then called to trust that God’s got this and we are to love our neighbor. And just in case you don’t know your neighbor, that means everyone. Note this does not say God will only guide us down paths similar to the makeup of a Candy Land board game. We will have trouble, but we can take heart because Christ has already overcome (John 16:33). It is not always going to be easy, in fact, it’s going to be difficult. There will probably be suffering. And I don’t mean suffering like you’ll have to spend time serving meals to people who haven’t showered so you might start to smell a little. I mean suffering like most Americans can’t even grasp.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
Even when we are trusting God, it does not mean we will end up in a place that’s without fear. Another line in the story is this: “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger.” I can just feel that’s a dangerous prayer. That’s the kind of prayer that makes people do things other people say are crazy. Things like move to be a missionary. Things like spend your free time volunteer with a youth ministry and getting to know teens, attending their plays, sporting games, concerts–even getting actively involved in the mess of their lives. It’s a difficult prayer, but it’s exactly the prayer we should be praying. It’s the prayer that will shake the world. It will allow others to taste the Kingdom of God here on earth.
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
When one of my best friends experienced the death of someone he loved, I was angry at God. I knew God wasn’t where I should be directing my anger, but I didn’t know what else to do. I felt like God failed my friend and me. This was during a time in my life where I had just experienced the end of a relationship I was really hopeful about. While it was really unfortunate the relationship ended, I experienced an intimacy with God I hadn’t experienced before. And then. All of a sudden, I was questioning God and mad he failed me. However, I’ve come to learn he didn’t fail me. He was there all along. He was there even when I didn’t feel it. He was speaking when I thought he was silent. He was working. He is faithful. He follows through. He’s never failed me and he won’t start now.
Sometimes when I feel my posts are a little preachy, I feel like I should change my words. But I really believe this. Also, I’m a pastor, so I feel like you should expect me to get preachy at times. However, this is not something that’s cookie cutter. This is tough stuff. It’s easy to say, but so hard to live like I believe it.
I pray we can join together in this prayer: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.”