I am a fairly confident person. I have a very strong personality and I am always sure about everything. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I live my life in a way that plays to my strengths. I hate hate hate uncertainty, I need to know at all times exactly where I am going and what is going to happen when I get there.
I say this just so we are clear that I am happiest when I am in total control, meaning whatever is happening is because I choose to either make it happen or do nothing. But, it’s not possible to be independent and love Jesus with reckless abandon. By its very nature, faith requires you to relinquish control, to surrender to Someone larger than yourself, to believe that just maybe you don’t know everything.
Giving up control is hard…especially for a control freak! In fact, I am terrible at it and most days I just want to cling to my will and my way. I mean it’s definitely easier to do what I want to live how I want to live, but it’s not really fulfilling. And if I am honest, my way means agonizing over every single decision, rehashing every conversation, and reliving every single mistake. My way is super stressful because it’s predicated on my strengths.
His way seems fraught with uncertainty, but if history is any indication the payoff is amazing. Abraham would never have had Isaac or become the father of a nation without leaving his father’s home in Ur. Ruth would have never met Boaz if she had chosen to return to her family in Moab. Paul would have never written half of the New Testament without answering the strange voice he heard on the road to Damascus.
And yet, I have tried to create a third way… a little of my way, and a little of His way.
But, lately the third way feels too clever by a half. It’s impossible to serve two masters. I cannot live to please God and please myself. I have to choose and I have come down firmly on the side of pleasing God.
Of course now, Presto! Change-o! It’s so much easier to face difficulty and endure trials.
It’s more like “I hate this! I hate being here and I hate you for making me stay!”
“This isn’t where I want to be. This place is terrible!”
“Now that I am all Ruth, where is my Boaz?”
I feel like Peter, I have stepped out of the boat on faith and I am walking on water, but OMG the waves and wind, Lord! So I am out here on the water trying to walk and because I am in a place that exceeds my skill level, I am sort of stuck out here until God sees fit to rescue me. I feel uncertain and unsure most of the time, because I am out of the boat, but the wind is still howling and the waves keep on rocking.
And if I am honest I am frustrated with God and most of the time I am feeling some kind of way about this whole living on the waves proposition. I am restless. Longing for solid ground, a weather change, or a word to calm the sea. God has called me to something, what I am not sure and living in the tension in being to take its toll. As someone who has always been an overachiever, whenever I face challenges in my life I have been able to conquer them, because of my education, my resources, my parents, and my friends. I have always depended on myself to carry me to the next thing, meet the next challenge, and tackle the next goal. My drive and success has for too long masked the truth of my condition…I am in great need.
I have heard many times that “you don’t know that God is all you need, until He is all you have.” In my case, I haven’t had to lose anything (yet), but suddenly it feels like the things I do have are not enough. Things that just a few months ago looked so shiny have begun to dull, but maybe I am just seeing them for what they always were.
Maybe I have been living in a virtual Christian reality. Maybe living on the waves is the really how we are meant to live as Christians. On the waves, we are totally dependent on God. Maybe we aren’t supposed to be comfortable at all. Maybe boat living is a shadow of what we were truly meant for. Maybe the real glory of Christianity can only be found on the waves.
It’s weird to go from a place of total independence to an almost crippling dependence. But, I feel that for the first time in a long time, I am exactly where He wants me, for when I am weak, I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).