When Oceans Rise...
I was standing in the ocean when all of the sudden I started to sink. I don't know if you've ever been in that position, but it's quite scary at first because you feel the water rising up, and the sand beneath you being rushed away by the undertow of the waves. Soon you look down, and you can't see your feet, let alone move very much because you are in to deep. At this point there are two options, continue to sink, or struggle to get out. Now some people might struggle to get out due to some fear of the ocean rising to high, or the tide knocking them over and not being able to escape. Others might just stand there in the fierceness that is the ocean and take it in for a moment. I fall into the latter of the two, but this story isn't about me, is it?
There is a great song by Hillsong called "Oceans" and it talks about the fear of being dragged under by the waves. But it also talks about having trust and faith in the One who creates the waves and tells them where to stop along the shore.
One of the verses really hit me as I was deciding whether to continue to sink or try to get out of the sand.
"So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace For I am Yours and You are mine"
Far to often God calls us out into the ocean, and tells us that He can hold us up and for whatever reason we doubt. We begin to sink. But then redemption comes again when we call on the Savior to hold our heads above the water.
Another verse of "Oceans" says this:
"Your grace abounds in deepest waters Your sovereign hand Will be my guide Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me You've never failed and You won't start now"
I don't know what you're going through, what promises people have made and broken, or what friend decided they didn't want to talk to you again, but I can tell you that God's grace is enough and abounds in the deepest darkest waters of your soul. I can also tell you that it's okay to be afraid of what God is calling you to do, but only for a moment. Someone I trust very much told me this, "God is not the god of fear and confusion." The Savior of the world loves you and He will not fail, and He will not let you fail. If God started failing now, then Jesus dying on the cross was a waste. I can also tell you that in the minutes and hours after I surrendered to God and said "yes" to his calling on my life I was scared. I didn't know how to tell people. What would my family and friends think? What about school? How am I going to get money for this? Where am I going to live? What about a job? What about the "American Dream"? But after the initial shock I began to focus on God and what He was saying and all I could hear was "Trust me, I will not fail you, my child."
All of the questions I had in that moment can be answered in "Oceans," and the questions I will continue to have about anything can be answered with a few lines in a song. (Please don't think that I am discounting what the power of reading God's word, and praying can do to answer questions, because I believe those are vital to every Christ-follower. I also believe God can give answers through other people, something that happens during the day, and yes even song lyrics.)
"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"
I want my trust to be without borders. In fact, I need it to be for the mission God has set before me. I have to have an endless amount of trust in my Savior to be able to say I don't know how everything works out, I don't have all of the answers, and I don't know what the next step is, but I am trusting that Jesus will guide my feet in the right direction.
If we can be transparent and vulnerable for about two minutes, that would be great. I can't begin to explain the amounts of time I have had to say, "Ok God, if this is what you want then yes." I have to do it every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I serve a sovereign God who knows what is best for me, and sometimes I don't understand why He would do certain things to me. I don't know why my college pastor is leaving his home church, and I am now in search of a new college ministry to be a part of. But I do know God has a plan for both my pastor and myself. I don't know how I am going to get the full amount of money to go back to Wales. But I do know God has a plan for that, too. I don't know why people seem to drift in and out of my life like the waves, but come back at just the right time and say just the right thing. But I do know God uses that distance to help strengthen the relationship I have with Him. To trust in the God who knows no borders and who can remove the borders of my heart.
Often our biggest mistake is thinking we can do things on our own and we begin to sink in the ocean surrounding us. But I know our biggest victory is knowing we have a Savior who's always willing and able to rescue us.