Oceans of Life: encouragement for challenged faith

As I sat in church next to my husband, blurry eyed and tired but completely content with life at the moment, the worship team perfectly performed one of my favorite songs: “Oceans” by Hillsong United.

The singer’s voice filled the entire chapel in perfect pitch, but I was left distracted by all the controversy over this song. Time and time again, some angry person on social media creates a heated debate about why we shouldn’t sing this song in church.

As usual, I abstain from the drama, but basically the lyrics are asking God to take you into deeper waters to strengthen your faith. Their argument is that Christians shouldn’t sing this song unless they are really willing to live a faith challenged life.

Despite the debates, this song was my theme song last year. I was in a place living “without borders” in what felt like a never-ending storm in the middle of a raging sea. Last year was one of the hardest years of my life.

Already frazzled with 4 little ones, my world crumbled when our 2 year-old was diagnosed with Autism. This blow, along with the grueling therapy that ensued, sent me deep into dark, stormy waters. Waves crashed over my head as I barely held onto survival.

Each time I caught my breath, another crashing wave pulled me deeper under water. Gasping for air, I cried out to God on so many occasions, and every time He came to my rescue.

After a long season of near-drowning, I sit here today comfortable, resting in God, in His unsinkable ship, no longer dog-paddling through the suffocating waves. My position in this boat is rocked every once in awhile, but as I keep my eyes on God, I know I will survive. He is my rock, my rescue boat, through the oceans of life, no matter what storms or waves appear.

There are moments when I’m white knuckling it through the storm, scared I will fall from His life-saving ship, scared of sinking, and there are moments of sweet slumber in the beauty of life.

After surviving treacherous waves, I know God’s solid boat will not waiver no matter the severity of the storm. I am the one who waivers when my complete reliance and focus shifts from God.

I will inevitably fall out of His safety boat again, as life goes. My faith will waiver. My focus will wander, but even as I tirelessly struggle to catch my breath and keep my head above the crashing waves, I know that God’s boat is always waiting for me to dive in, providing sweet rest like no one else can offer.

If you are struggling to survive through your current storm of life, know that there is a boat waiting to give relief. This boat will be rocked and pounded by fierce waves, but it will never fail you. God has not failed me yet, and I know He won’t fail you.

Surrender it to God, and He will carry you through this storm. He will shelter you from cold waters and fierce waves; He will also provide rest and relief. You just need to trust Him completely and jump in His life boat.

I’m not saying that it will be easy, but He will not fail you. You can ride the storm out in his unsinkable vessel or barely survive as you fight the deadly waves alone. The choice is really up to you.

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