“The safest place for ships may be the harbour, but that is not their purpose. If you want to get anywhere, you have to take a few risks.”
Nicky Gumbel, Vicar at HTB in London and founder of the Alpha course posted this on Twitter this morning. It spoke to me quite powerfully; not just because it’s a poignant message, but because it reminded me of something that happened around a year or so ago.
Amanda, one of our fantastic worship leaders at Kerith Community Church, was praying for me along with the rest of her band. I’d been serving in their team for a season and that season was about to come to an end as I moved to a different band. I was in a particularly difficult place at the time; trying to figure out what it was that God had in store for me and for my future. All the sorts of things I should hand over to God but, like a toddler frantically clasping a toy he likes a little too much, was unwilling to part with. I mention Amanda’s name specifically because she then prophesied over me. She felt that God was saying that I was like a ship in a harbour, where the waters are calm and safe, but at some point, God would lead me out of the harbour and into the open seas, which, though they might be far more dangerous are filled with opportunity. That picture has been floating (no pun intended) around my head for quite some time now; almost, in fact, entirely out of my consciousness. Honestly, I have no idea what it means. I’m sure God will open the door one day. Well, as you can imagine, Nicky Gumbel’s tweet was quite a moving reminder of that prophecy!
Everything about what Amanda said to me, though powerful, is so vague. I want specifics!! I have so many questions I want God to answer. Are the open seas within the boundaries of Kerith Community Church, the church I am so passionate about? Or are they in another location? Will it require my musical ability or something else entirely? Is it even in the church or do I need to move to a secular role in the workplace?! I have no idea what God wants from me! I want to make a mark on this earth for the glory of God. I want to do something that transforms lives, builds people up, encourages, inspires and engages people with their Creator. I want to have a purpose; a goal; a mission. I want to plan my future. I hate this uncertainty. Where is my wife? What is the road that God wants me to walk down?! What is behind that dark, ominous curtain of time that covers the future from my sight?! It seems like I’m a ship with navigational problems. At times, not knowing frustrates me more than almost anything I can think of!
…And yet, I need to surrender my own desires to Him. I need to be still, and know. Not my way, but your way God. Not my will, but yours. Not my aspirations, but your glorious plans alone. My impatience renders me blind to the wonderful privilege that it is to know that my God has a future for me – for me! He leads me and guides me. He never leaves or forsakes me. Trying to plan my future without God’s insight is like trying to direct a blockbuster movie with only my lines on the script. God sees everything, and He knows what’s best for me better than I every could. I might not know when, where or how I will leave whatever the harbour is that I am resting in, but I will give all I am to making sure that I’m ready to set sail when He calls me. Until then, I will be still. I will know that You are God. Please be patient with me as you lead the way.