If you’ve been in the Christian community in the last year or so, no doubt you’ve heard Hillsong United’s “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”. It’s truly a beautiful song, with a deeply personal meaning for a lot of people. It’s a great testament to faith, to answering God’s call.
This week I had a very different perspective on this song.
Yes, the song is about God calling us out to Him, to follow, to obey, much like Peter asked Jesus to prove Himself by calling Peter out onto the water.
In Matthew 14, we read the account of Jesus coming to the disciples in the storm.
In verse 28 Peter asks Jesus to call him onto the water if it’s truly Jesus out there.
In verse 29, Jesus simply says, “Come.”
And in verse 30, we read that Peter noticed the wind, his faith faltered and he began to sink.
Verse 31 finds Jesus reaching out his hand to Peter, saying, “You of little faith…why did you doubt?”
He gave up trusting God when he noticed his surroundings.
Let me be very honest and straightforward here: Sometimes life is just plain hard.
I fully believe God knows that. I truly believe that He calls us all to hard places at times, and I’m aware that none of us may fully understand the path of another.
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself in trying, desperate situations not of my doing. Life has been just plain hard.
Like Peter, I’ve found myself noticing the winds around me – being caught up in the storms.
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
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
I’ve found myself “where feet may fail and fear surrounds me”.
I’ve always considered this song from Peter’s perspective – with part of his body above the water, looking up at Jesus.
Recently, though, my perspective has changed a little.
I’m sure you’ve seen the image on a TV show or movie, where a person is caught in the crash of a huge wave. For a short time the person is under the water, having to ride out the surge. Sometimes they frantically fight the wave, desperate to get above the water.
Other times, though, they give up on the fight and just ride out the wave, trusting that if they are to make it back up to the top, they will.
And it’s in that ultimate giving up that we truly open ourselves to what God has.
That’s where I’ve found myself.
I’ve stopped fighting the storm, I’m letting the wave carry me.
And do you know what?
I can still look up.
keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine.
The hand of Jesus is still there. He is still in control. He is still guiding my life for His purposes.
Sometimes the storms come and we can realize that our faith needs to be strengthened.
Other times the storms and waves come to wash something out of our lives, to renew us and make us clean.
And still other times, the storm may serve to move us from where we are to where God wants us to be next.
I don’t know why He sends the storms. I don’t know why we have to deal with the battering of yet another struggle in life.
But I do know this:
God is the One who will make a way. He is faithful – He has been and will continue to be.
What if, just for today, you stopped fighting?
Stop fighting to get back above the surface.
Trust God. Trust the One who created you.
Trust that He has a plan for your life.
Then just lie back and let Him hold you.
And just like Peter and the others in the boat, we’ll be able to say, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
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