“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, NIV).
Years ago this became a verse to inspire me to keep pushing myself to write no matter how I feel. If I “watch the wind” and “look at the clouds”, I will never attempt to write, and will reap nothing in return. If I never risk the comfortable certainty of my life, I will never grow in my personal faith. Each day we stand on the brink of the unknown. This day can be a step forward in faith if we move away from the certainty of the place where we have settled—if we risk something new that pushes us to believe in what our eyes can’t see, our ears can’t hear, and what makes no sense to our natural mind. We need to get out of the perceived safety of our boat, and launch out into the depths of the unknown in Him. “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me” (Psalm 42:7). The depth of the Holy Spirit calls to the depth in a man that longs to be completed in Him, and bids that man, “Come. Step out of the boat, and launch out into the deep with me!” Do you yearn for His waves and breakers to sweep over you carrying you to new heights? I certainly do! If we truly long for these unknown depths of complete surrender, we will let go of all that has defined who we are. We will risk believing in what He has chosen for our life. We will plant and invest in the unknown.
How many of us allow our failures, pains, attitudes, and even sins that were crucified with Jesus Christ to hold us back? The Holy Spirit calls us to let go of all that has defined who we have been. We must let go of what we consider the certain security of the boat. There is no certainty in the boat we have constructed. There is no certain security in false hopes and dreams that offer nothing in the end. That boat is subject to the waves and storms of life. That boat can sink. But we discover when we let go of our self-constructed identity, and step out into the depths of the unknown in the Holy Spirit, we are at last standing strong in our faith and not sinking into the depths of our own despair. When we step out of that boat into what is uncertain, we are no longer a person who could not quite get things together, or a person who has been crushed by circumstance. We are no longer someone who lets feelings of rejection, whether imagined or real, define who we are. We are no longer someone who needs the world to approve of us. We have found our worth in Jesus. We are new in Him. No longer ruled by fear we move forward into the unknown.
In the book, The Shack by William Young, Mack stands on the end of a dock with Jesus, and stares at the surface of the lake. Jesus asks Mack to take his hand, and step off the dock, but Mack can't let go of the certain security of the dock. “So, why do I have so much fear in my life?” he asks. Jesus' answer cuts to the core of the issue. “Because you don't believe. You don't know that I love you. The person who lives by his fear will not find freedom in my love.” We must not be afraid to move forward into the unknown. Fear will hold us in our own self-constructed boat. But there is freedom from all that has defined us when we step out into the unknown in faith.
I am ready to leave this boat behind. Are you? If you plant your life into His unknown depths, you will reap greater faith. Each day step out of your boat and discover renewed power and joy in Him again and again. His Spirit calls to your spirit, and bids you come and risk all for Him. Launch into the depths of what has been your uncertainty. You will find it the most certain thing you have ever done.
(Copyright 2017 Lynn Hampton Lacher)