BY AMY NABORS
So afraid what it might cost to follow You
I'd walk by faith if I could get these feet to move
But I don't want to live that way
I don't want to look back someday
On a life that never stepped across the line
So why am I still standing here?
Why am I still holding back from You?
You've given me a faith that can move a mountain
But I'm still playing in the sand
Building little kingdoms that'll never stand
I hear You call me out into deeper waters
But I settle on the shallow end
I'm so tired of standing here
What if I gave everything to You?
(Casting Crowns, What If I Gave Everything?)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I will show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I will not lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)
Do you know what it is to keep company with Jesus? Does that sound foreign to you? Scary? Or, maybe, it sounds too wonderful to comprehend, or, wonderful, yes, but not for someone like you. Are you too busy right now? Too broken? Not worthy of time with Him? Too many responsibilities? Do those around you depend on you too much to allow yourself to keep company with Jesus? Too scared to face what He might ask of you? Too worried to let go?
What if? What if you did let go? What if you did face your fears? What if you did love yourself enough to trust Him? What if you did put Him first? What if He told you, you are worthy, and He wants nothing more than to spend time with you? What if He is holding your broken pieces? What if He is waiting on you because He has all the time in the world for you? What if…
What if he could carry your burdens, so you did not have to feel the weight of them? What if life did not feel so heavy, like every day was an uphill battle? What would it be like to live free, to feel like you could breathe? What would it be like to understand His grace for you? To feel forgiven, loved beyond measure. What would it feel like to rest in His merciful and safe arms, to live transformed, to be exactly who He made you to be, in the ways He desires for you? Not burned out on rules, lists, and check boxes and living up to standards this world has for you. Not worn out. Not tired.
Free. Loved. Your true self.
So, what is holding you back? Why are you still standing there, “playing in the sand, building little kingdoms that’ll never stand?” He is calling you to deeper waters, refreshing waters, but you have to move. Or you can stand there, and one day look back on a life never fully lived, thinking, what if? What if I gave everything to you? What if?
‘What if’ for me began 2.5 years ago when I began my SOULWELL journey. I took a step of obedience, off the sand, and to something God put in my path and called me to - mainly because I had hit a wall – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, was worn out, tired & burned out on religion. God was pointing me to this journey, and I took a step of faith, the next right step – a step I knew nothing about – I did not even know what SOULWELL was or what it was about. Turns out, I took a step into the waters where Jesus was calling me deeper, calling me to freedom and healing found only in Him. This was only the beginning of this journey.
Today, His love is too deep, too good, immeasurable; it is beyond anything I could possibly ask or imagine. The freedom I feel right now is something I have prayed for, and waited patiently on, taking each next right step He has called me to over the last 2.5 years. I heard others share their stories, and it gave me hope that one day I would know on a deeper level what they had experienced – that Jesus would do that for me, that He would set me free of the bondage I knew I was still in. I had become frustrated with the process and was beginning to get angry with Him for not bringing me to the one thing I kept pleading and fighting for. It was buried so deep, amidst so much doubt, fear, and confusion – tools the enemy was using to keep me quiet. Then 2 little words, “What if?”. I asked Kelly, “What if it isn’t true?”, and she replied back with, “What if, Jesus?” Those words stuck in my mind. What if, Jesus could set me free? What if this is it – what I had been waiting on, and asking for? What if I just believed and stopped doubting? What if He had been showing me all along, and I was just too afraid of all the “What ifs?” to hear Him and trust Him. What if I had not been waiting on Him at all, but He was patiently, lovingly, waiting on me – arms stretched wide with love and compassion in His eyes?
So now, I sit and bask in His glory, His goodness, His love, His freedom. It is too good and wonderful to comprehend. Everything seems fresh. New. I am sleeping and waking with a smile on my face and praise in my heart, pondering how great His love is. I am grateful beyond measure. I feel like my heart is soaring, my soul floating on air. I breathe deeply, yet lightly and freely – unlike I have ever breathed before. I am His masterpiece, that He created for His glory, before time began; He had a plan for me. A good plan. I just had to surrender to Him. Surrender control. Surrender my lack of trust. Surrender my doubt. Surrender to His compassionate, open arms, waiting, open for me to finally believe, “What if, Jesus.”