Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Great Unknown


Recently, we were with our youth ministry at youth camp out in east Texas.  On a couple of nights, the worship band played a song that I hear a lot... In fact, to say that the song "Oceans (Where My Feet May Fall)" is well known would be an understatement.  Beautiful melodies, soaring vocals and powerful music make this song easy to sing, and easy to get swept up in.  However, I believe it is the lyrics of "Oceans" that strike a chord with so many.  Here's the first two verses:

Verse 1
     You call me out upon the waters
     The great unknown where feet may fail
     And there I find You in the mystery
     In oceans deep
     My faith will stand


     Verse 2:

     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


The imagery of this song is very strong.  Even if you have not personally experienced the power and size of an ocean, pictures like the one above bring life to these words.  When we embark on this life journey of following Jesus, we find that God has indeed called each of us to a task that can seem as vast and daunting as an ocean.  Still don't get the picture?  Watch a couple episodes of "Deadliest Catch" and you'll understand just how unrelenting and dangerous the ocean can be.  

Life, particularly in vocational ministry, can feel like sailing on the open seas.  It can be thrilling, epically rewarding, and amazing.  However, this life also has more than it's fair share of storms to weather.  Like the picture above, the wave that is about to hit you is the one that holds your attention.  Sometimes the waves are small, but more often than not, you can find yourself being rocked, blasted, and tossed about.  Fear is an obvious companion of storms.  Fear of being left alone, fear of failure, fear of being overtaken by life that seems to be unrelenting.  Even if you know that storms always have an end, it is hard to remember that fact when you are in a fight for your life... trying to desperately keep your head above water.  The chorus of "Oceans" is such a good reminder of where my thoughts really need to be:

    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 have been in ministry long enough to encounter many storms.  I am currently in a storm right now that feels like it has more power than I could ever hope to overcome.  The oceans rise, the world reels back and forth, and the very ground under my feet feels unstable.  However, I have to remember to keep my eyes focused on the One that has the power over even the waves of the actual ocean.  This story in Matthew is exactly what I'm talking about:


"Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”" -- Matthew 8:24-27

As followers of Jesus, we have to look towards where He is leading us, not just where we are at this present moment.  We must remember that Jesus is not surprised when we are thrust into an emergency, health crisis, impossibly hard church situation, time of depression, loss of friends, etc.  He is right there with us in the midst of it all, whispering to us in the chaos, and shouting to us in the silence... "I've got you...  I'll never leave or forsake you..."  We must call upon His name, we must rest in His presence...  And we must stay at the wheel of our ship, even when we feel like we are out of control, or entering treacherous and uncharted waters.  We are reminded of this in Hebrews 12:1b-2:

"Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne." 

"Oceans" adds these words towards the end of the song:
   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
     Oh, Jesus, you're my God!
I know many of you are in the midst of storms right now.  Many of our ministry friends are in the fight of their lives right now.  I personally believe that Satan is in an all out war on churches right now, and is doing his best to destroy all that the Lord has planned for us.  I also know that this is not just a problem that ministers deal with.  Storms affect us all.  If you are in the midst of a storm, I pray that you will truly be able to pray for God to strengthen your faith, and take you to new heights in your relationship with Christ as you battle the storms.  May you find rest, comfort, and strength through Jesus.  Keep your feet about you... you are not alone.  May God lead us as we forge ahead into the great unknown!



2 comments:

  1. New Blog out there for ya...

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  2. Thank you for sharing such truth...this song has brought me comfort and strength to continue on through our own storm I know my storm will end and that God has a plan

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