I have been thinking a lot lately about the will of God.  How do we hear it?  How do we know it?  How do we trust that we really heard God and that we didn’t just eat a bad taco last night?  I have a friend who just turned down a job that she and her husband have been praying for for years.  Although the job was just what they prayed for it came with a long list of other ramifications that would impact their family in a way they believe God would NOT call them to so they turned it down.  So did God bring them the job they had prayed for or not?  Did they do the right thing or not? They believe so and they prayed about it, but who knows? What is God’s will and how on earth do we know it, trust we are hearing it and trust we are hearing it correctly? 
I fell in love with the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United recently. I love the bravery of it, the hope in it, and the grandiose romance of it all: “Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.  Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me.”  I began to pray that song every time I heard it but recently as I’m flailing around the middle of the ocean in this faith trial I noticed another part of that song that I don’t like so much.  It says, “So I will call upon Your Name, keep my eyes above the waves…” It is awesome to see where we are going but I’m sorry, I can’t BREATHE if my nose and mouth aren’t also above the waves. Sometimes stepping out, following God and trying to discern His voice and purpose for our lives feels just like the truth of that song… like we are drowning.

I wish I had an answer to this.  There have been times in my life I feel I have been called to something by God and it was crystal clear.  It is never easy or comfortable to follow what God is calling me to but for the most part when He calls me to something, it is pretty straightforward, clearly in agreement with His Word and best of all I can usually breathe. This latest trial however makes me feel like I am drowning in the ocean and I’m wearing only a pair of water wings from Kmart (and one of them has a leak). The worst part is that I’m not sure what God is telling me. I thought I knew what He was calling me to but if I’m honest, I am more confused with each passing day and I have been praying about it and reading my Bible but I always seem to come back to the same plea to God: “Please help.  I don’t get it.”

But here’s the good news. The good news is that when we are drowning, we are desperate. We pray like our lives depended on it because God becomes our only hope. We read His Word like we are looking for silver and searching for hidden treasure (Prov. 2:1-5). Despite how much I really hate being tossed around the ocean barely being able to see or breathe, I am closer to God and an awareness of His reality and activity in my life than ever before. I have a dependency on Him like never before and like never before, I have been forced to battle if I am going to trust His Word or if I am going to do it my way.  Am I going to wait for Him with quiet expectation or am I going to step in, manipulate and do it the “Laura way?”  Am I going to give up or am I going to believe and live out that God “acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Is. 64:4)?
“Dear Lord, thank you for turning a romantic and beautiful song into a difficult and raw prayer. Thank you that in that hard place I am being forced to figure out what I REALLY believe about you.  Thank you that in that song I have been forced to choose if I am going to stand on your Word or stand on my wants.  In this faith trial, thank you that I have been brought once again to the place where if I’m honest all I really know is this: “Lord I believe.  Help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).  Thank you that in waiting for other people, circumstances and in waiting on You, I have accepted that perhaps all this waiting is probably mostly for me and my benefit; to grow in my faith, to grow my trust and for me to really walk the walk until I hear from you more clearly.  In Your Name, Amen.”