I read a blog post recently called Stop Singing Oceans authored by Annie F Downs. Before going any further… please go read her post. It will put what I’m about to say in context. And, for the record, I don’t know anything about this sweet woman… I’m sure she is very wonderful! I’m not, in the least bit, attacking her. I’m just using her blog post as a conduit to my own nasty confession.
Yes, Annie F Downs!! I thought the same thing! I like to think that I was the first person to ever hear that song. It’s made appearances on my blog, on my Facebook, and mostly, deep down in my heart. I say that song was the thing that held me together during this transition of mine.
The lines, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever You may call me,” were ringing true in every aspect of my life as I prepared to leave everything I knew to step into the unknown in Texas – simply because I felt that God was calling me there.
I remember crying out, pouring out, and begging for God to make me strong when I heard this song. I, too, would be frustrated when others sang it… and I, in my high and mighty position of letting the Spirit lead me wherever He may call me, felt like anyone else – not making such a huge change and sacrifice – was simply mouthing the words to a song they weren’t willing to actually live out. Like, seriously, I would find myself being snubbish about it. Like I was better. Or more awesome. Or really following God and everyone else who sang it wasn’t.
Yep. I admit it. I did that.
Then, the other day, out of the blue, God straight up convicted me of that. I wasn’t even listening to the song, thinking about it, nada… it’s just like He tapped me on the shoulder and said, “hey, so you know that thing you were doing in your head? I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it one bit. I need you to fix that in your heart. You are a beautiful child of Mine, and I love you… but you aren’t the only one walking it out.”
Hello, God…? Is that You? sigh.
It was Him. And He was right. My heart was a little ugly about the whole thing.
So, I started to think about what it might look like for someone else. It doesn’t always mean leaving a place, giving away all your money, etc… It might mean trusting God to walk you through addiction, or an eating disorder, or getting your marriage together, or getting yourself together. He may be calling you to build a better relationship with Him so that when/if He does call you to go “wherever” you’ll be ready.
Sometimes, like Annie mentions, it just means buying coffee for a homeless person or sharing something from our past. She was right on point when she says that we need to be living it out. Period.
How can we, so fully and with such gusto, sing a song and then just turn it off when the song is over. We do. But we shouldn’t.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” It doesn’t say we have to GO anywhere or GIVE away everything, but it does say that we were created to do good works and that He has prepared those in advance for us. In other words, situations will be put in our path because God is giving us an opportunity to do good work in His name. How are we going to handle those situations? With doubt? With love? With nothing at all?
In Colossians 3: 12-17 (ESV)it states, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Can’t this all be about how the Spirit leads us where our trust is without borders? Consider someone who needs to forgive another person that hurt them deeply. If we choose forgiveness, then isn’t the Spirit leading us to a place where we can’t trust ourselves to go without Him? I say, yep.
So, in conclusion, I say KEEP singing Oceans! And pray that God reveals to you the areas where you need to trust Him fully. Pray that if He is calling you to a place of compassion for someone else that you’re open to it. Pray that if He needs you to talk to someone you’d never talk to because of any myriad of reasons that you gather strength from Him to do so.
We might not have the same “Oceans,” my friends… but we all have our own “Oceans” and that’s the way God is going to use each of us.