Sometimes I pray prayers that I don’t really mean. Or rather, I mean them, but I don’t really know what I’m saying. I don’t think about what they’re going to cost me. Like the one I started praying about a year ago.
Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior. [Hillsong United, Oceans]
Some days it’s hard to sing that without visions of grand exploits. Doing great things for God. That’s what I thought of when I first heard it. I thought about all the things I wanted to do, all the things I felt God calling me to, and I imagined the faith those things would take. I imagined doing them well because, after all, I had trust without borders.
I didn’t know it then, but that was the easy side of this prayer.
Yes, those things do require trust. Stepping into them means we step out farther than we think we can go and we learn a stronger faith. But I’m starting to wonder if most of that trust is built in the moments when the rug is pulled out from under us. It’s a painful thing to learn to trust like this.
The past eight months have thrown me in way over my head. The waves have threatened to overwhelm me and more often than not the most honest prayer I’ve been able to pray has been, “I don’t trust you with this.” But still I’ve had no control.
One day last fall I actually said it. “If this is what it takes to have trust without borders, I don’t think I want it.” The words hung heavy. It wasn’t that I didn’t want it. I just never thought it would be like this. I didn’t think it would be so hard.
I have to wonder if even after he looked back at Jesus Peter still felt like he was sinking. He wasn’t, but it is a terrifying thing to stand in the middle of the ocean supported by nothing but water and the Savior’s gaze. Still, he did it. And I imagine he was better for it.
We pray this prayer and it is a costly one. But we continue to pray it because something deep inside us knows that it is worth it. So in the moments when we are stretched beyond what we think is possible may we find the grace to trust.
Trust is, after all, not something we can conjure up on our own. It is a gift. And even when it comes with great pain it is a gift worth asking for.