My friend Vera gets really passionate about the song "Oceans" by Hillsong United. If you ever hear her talk about the song she will say something like this:
"Do you know what you are really singing and praying when you sing Oceans?
“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”
Do you know what you are really singing? “Wherever You may call me?”
That can be the place that I'm terrified to go! That's a really big prayer!"
Over the years I have asked God more than a few of those "really big prayers".
I want to share two of them with you though. I'll talk about the first one in a second, but the second one was for a deeper love of Jesus.
The first prayer was back in October of 2014. I was at a board meeting for work and one of our board members was delivering a devotion. He shared a question that he had recently asked himself. You know those questions that when you hear them it feels like you got smacked in the face with a Mack truck. That’s what happened when I heard this question: “Who are you Jesus that the slaughter of the innocent was worth it?”
Bam. Smacked in the face by the Mack truck. At the time of Jesus’ birth, He was so anticipated among His people that the King ordered the death of innocent little ones in an attempt to eradicate Jesus. He was only a baby, yet His reputation was great and His name was feared!
"Who are you Jesus that the slaughter of the innocent was worth it?"
I took a few days to really reflect on that question. I even made a list of who Jesus has been to me. A few of the truths on the list were my worth, my freedom, my encouragement, my authority... On September 19, 2015 I added a couple truths to the list. He is my Rock, and my Comforter. Those are truths that are in scripture, and I knew that. But they just weren't as real to me.
On September 19th I found out that I was having a miscarriage that had begun a couple days before. I didn't know I was pregnant and I thought what I was going through was a result of something else. However, after a conversation with a friend I was on the phone with my doctor, and I took a pregnancy test to confirm the miscarriage and then was on the way to the ER. I am pretty sure I have never cried so much in my life. One minute you have one child, one minute you have two but you will never meet the second on this side of eternity. No time to celebrate the pregnancy, just sadness. I remember cuddling with Charlie a few days later and feeling that there was someone missing from my other arm. I'm not going to lie, it was really hard emotionally. Tears would just flow. But in the midst of all the tears, God's presence and love was undeniable. While in the hospital, in the middle of tears and uncertainty, I felt more peace than I had ever felt in my life.
Over the days that passed God showed me 3 pictures that led me to know Him in new and deeper ways. The first was a picture of me trying to make my way through sifting sand, and I never made my way through.
The second was a picture of me standing on a Rock with my arms up in worship. He was giving me a choice. "You can do this on your own and not make it through, or lean on Me and let Me be your Solid Rock." We all have that choice. Are we going to struggle through sifting sand, or stand on the Rock?
The third picture He gave me was a picture of Jesus holding me like a parent would cradle their newborn child. When I saw that, I cried (I cried a lot). I know what it’s like to love your child, and to know that I know that I know that Jesus was holding me like His child through my pain was overwhelmingly beautiful.
"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." Isaiah 66:13
When I prayed those 2 prayers earlier in the year, I never knew where they would lead. I never knew the love that God would lavish on me through times of pain. I never knew His strength.
But now I know He is MY Rock and MY comforter.
I have read over my journal over the years and one prayer keeps showing up "wherever you lead God, I'll go if it's for you." It's a prayer that has uncertain results... a prayer that doesn't ensure protection, or safety, or an easy life. Those are things that God never promises us. He does promise that He is unchanging, and that He is our Comforter, He is our Rock, and He was overcome the darkness. He is worth it!
What if God allowed you to walk through some really deep waters to have you experience a deeper knowledge of who He is? What if those deep waters would lead you to trusting without limitation? Would you still sing? What if He would allow you to walk through deep waters in order to reveal Himself in a new way? If you knew He would allow it, would you still follow?
Jessica Schneider is a writer who has a deep love for Christ and a desire to follow where He may lead. In hopes to encourage women in their walks with Christ, she began blogging on her site The Path I Follow. She has a passion for her readers to know that they are loved by a beautiful Creator. Jessica currently lives in Norwalk, CT with her husband Mike, and two children, Charlie and Olivia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, walks at the beach, helping with women’s ministry at her church, and relaxing on her parent’s boat. You can learn more about Jessica and read her weekly blog posts by visiting her website or FaceBook page.