With each passing moment, my lungs scream and beg for air…desperate to cling to life. Suddenly, all is quiet. My eyes are wide open as I sink beneath the waves. With one last desperate attempt, I call out to him…at first a whisper, and then louder…Jesus, Jesus! I scarcely finish saying his name, and I find myself suddenly rising firmly and swiftly above the waves! His arm reaches out to me, grabbing hold of my flailing arm and pulling me up with such firmness and warmth that instantly I know…everything will be OK.
Do the seasons of life feel like that sometimes? How easy it is to get caught up in carving out our boundaries just the way we like it. In that place of comfort, life happens on our own terms just as we stand on the edge of the shore, away from what we perceive to be harm’s way. But what if even our defined place of safety isn’t really that safe after all? What if the only reason we’re still standing firmly on the shores of the ocean is because the lover of our soul is keeping us from harm’s way right there? See, on the seashore there may not be mighty and sinister creatures waiting to prey and pounce on us but there are lesser creatures not so easily seen, filled with as much venom and sting that are just as capable of inflicting great pain and damage upon us, if given the opportunity.
If only we had realized before we found ourselves in the deep that the only difference between those two places is our awareness and acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus with us in both places. It would certainly make all the difference to how we approach the deep. Yet, thank God for the deep because:
- In it, His grace abounds.
- in it His strength is perfected.
- In it when we come to the end of ourselves and cry out to Him.
- In it, His mighty hand saves by reaching down and pulling us up to be level with Him, giving us the power to walk on water!
- In it, He sympathizes with our weakness, our humanity.
- In it, He teaches us to trust in Him.
- In it, we can look only to Him and not to the billowing waves.
- In it, our faith is strengthened.
- In it, our understanding is enlightened.
- In it, all the dots begin to connect, because it all starts to make sense and we realize that He was with us all along.
- In it, we realize that even when we stood on the seashore, we were not without danger but His hand of protection is always with us.
But most importantly, “In it, He is available to all who call on Him”.
When we are in the deep, we must remember that He has not forgotten us. On the contrary He calls us out to the deep, for in the deep we see Him like we never have because we can finally take the focus off ourselves and look to Him, the author and finisher of our faith!
So much of nature like the ocean speaks of the power and sovereignty of God. If we believe that He created all things including the ocean, how is it then that we don’t believe He will rescue us from it when the storm roars? Has He lost His power? Is He no longer the creator of all that is? Certainly not! We must remember that every storm has a beginning and an end. No storm has ever carried on endlessly, not even the tsunami that struck Japan three years ago and destroyed everything in its path. In the same way, the storms in our lives will cease just as they started. The challenge for us is keeping our head and eyes above the storm. Looking unto Him, the author and finisher of our faith. If our faith is a book in the writing, then there must be a middle and that middle point will include highs and lows but it is all part of what makes a book and what makes it a best seller sought after by all. As He is the author, He already knows what the middle will look like, and He certainly has a grand finish for the end, so let us not trust Him only in the beginning when faith and comfort abounds, but let us trust Him through the middle and let us finish our faith on the ultimate high, the end!
Therefore, let us boldly step out into the deep, the great unknown, and meet the Grace which abounds in deepest waters!
This allegory was inspired by a song written by Hillsong United titled: “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”. It is one of my absolute favourite songs and you can check it out below.