When Oceans Rise

Victor Hugo once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

I have always loved music. I love to sing; I love to dance. I have a song for every mood and every moment. There’s just something magical to me about music.

So it’s probably no surprise that I’ve taken refuge in song on many occasions over the last few months.

One Sunday morning a couple months back, I was truly struggling through a worship service. Not in anger; just in fatigue and weariness. It seemed like every song we sang was directed straight at my heart…songs about fear and hurt and struggle, and how God is with us through all of it. I couldn’t sing the words, and if you know me, you know how surprising that is. The songs were just too hard. If I opened my mouth, I would’ve opened my tear ducts, too. Not because I was bitter or hard-hearted, but simply because the words were far too close to home. I had some ugly moments earlier this year that God alone carried me through. You know. You’ve read about them.

Things were just really heavy for awhile, and I was really feeling the weight of my struggle that day.

Midway through the service, we started singing a song called “Oceans”. You want to talk about a beautiful yet heavy song? Well it’s the one you should address. If you’ve never heard it, take a listen. It really is beautiful…just hard to sing when you’re really feeling the lyrics. In case you can’t listen right now, though, the lyrics are provided below:

“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
And 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
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
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
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 will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine
I am Yours and You are mine.”

Now put yourself in my shoes in that moment for just a second.

My ocean has been deep this year. You don’t just get told that your system is malfunctioning to the point of life and death without being affected deeply by that truth. Sometimes I hear myself telling my story and I think, “Woah. Is this real? Really my life?” But it is my life. My crazy, difficult, sometimes frustrating, sometimes cry-worthy, inspiring life that God gave me to live in the best way I can.

He also gave me that song for a reason that morning. In those moments, I didn’t sing “Oceans” with the rest of my church family. I listened. I watched. During my observations, I saw no fewer than fifteen people emotionally affected by the song across the audience. I saw their hurt, and in that moment, I hurt their hurt with them. Not because I knew what was hurting them, but because I sat there with my own. If nothing else, I now know true fear and anger and weariness and sadness. I also know true joy, too. During those same moments, I saw dozens of people who visited, called, mailed cards, brought flowers, and loved on me during some of the toughest days of my life. I saw people who held my hand and hugged me like crazy when I finally had the strength to be there. I was reminded of the many acts of love along my path this year. And most importantly, I felt like God was giving me those lyrics as a reminder of where we’ve been together and where we’re headed together in the long-term.

Since that morning, I’ve found my singing voice again. Sometimes the lyrics are hard…but, oh, the beauty they hold, too.

One Reply to “When Oceans Rise”

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