One of my favorite songs that’s come out in the past year has, without a doubt, been Oceans by Hillsong United. The lyrics and the melody are powerful and they stir that deep desire in my heart for more. More adventure, more new, and first and foremost, more Jesus. Even now as I even think of the words of the bridge, words that I have often turned into a prayer over the past 6 months, my adventuresome heart longs for something new, but I’m realizing that His answer to this is looking different than I wanted it to.
I’m constantly realizing that His answers to my prayers pretty much always look different than I anticipated, but I’m also realizing that His answers are always far better than the ones I’ve imagined.
The song is based off of Matthew 14:22-33, where Jesus walks on the water and Peter steps out of the boat to walk toward Him. What I love about this passage is that Peter steps out. Out of the boat, out of his comfort zone, and into something completely unknown. But even with all of that, Jesus was in front of him…showing him the way. Yes, I know Peter ended up sinking because he was afraid, but he stepped out and Jesus was beside him to lift him up out of the water.
In our ever-changing, adventure-loving, live-on-the-edge type of culture we think that by asking the Lord to lead us where our trust is without borders means that we have to go to a far off land and leave everything we know behind. We think that stepping out of the boat means hopping on a plane to a far off land. And sometimes it definitely does mean that, but sometimes it means staying right where you are. Sometimes it means being still and staying to let your roots grow, which can be extremely hard and, for some people, scarier than packing up and moving across the world.
I was thinking about all of this when Oceans came on the radio yesterday afternoon. I found every single lyric applying to my life, even though if you had asked me prior to that moment I would have probably told you they didn’t apply very much, if at all. But oh man, do they ever. And I realized how much I had boxed in my definition of adventure with the Lord.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.”
Letting the Lord lead you to where your trust has no borders, letting Him lead you on that grand adventure we often dream of could mean packing up and moving to a city where you don’t know a single person and starting a life there. Cause that’s what it’s meant for me. Nashville was a huge unknown for me a year ago. This Georgia girl loves adventure, but to me adventure usually involves my passport. But here I sit with a year under my belt and a new, grown-up job in front of me in this city I have come to adore. And let me tell you, it’s been quite an adventure. There are days where I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above the water and there are moments where I think the waves of life are becoming a bit too much.
There are times when I want to pack up and quit, but I don’t. And the reason I don’t is Jesus.
There’s a phrase in this song that I think often gets overlooked, “I will call upon Your name.” And if I’ve learned anything over the past year of doing life in Nashville, it has been the power of His name. It has been the power of calling on Him for help. He is the one who has guided my steps and He is my source of life. He’s my rest, He’s my peace, and He’s my strength. Has this season looked anything like I thought it would? No, not even close. But I trust Him and His plans have been better than any I could have written for myself. He’s called me to a season of being planted, to a season of roots, but in order for me to get there I had to step out of the boat first.