In Oceans Deep
Do you ever have that feeling? People ask me how I am and I smile and say, “Good, just busy.” Truth be told it’s not a conversation I want to get into with most, but behind that smile, I am actually drowning.
I’m literally fighting with every ounce of my being just to keep my head above water. Regardless of how hard I try and how hard I fight ... I stay in this place thrashing for something to hold on to and gasping for air. The moment I feel as though the waters may start to calm, I turn around and am instantly covered by another wave that sends me tumbling below the surface and I find myself - yet again - desperately trying to find which way is up.
All around me are faces of those I love. That’s the hardest part. You see, I am not the only one struggling in these turbulent waters. My family is there too and I can hear their splashing and cries for help all around me. I am fighting to keep us afloat with everything in me, but my efforts seem to be in vain.
I’m curious how long one can stay in such a state before ultimately succumbing to the water. I have never been much of a swimmer myself, and even though my waters are metaphorical, it leads me to feel as though I don’t have a chance.
I keep screaming out for God to save us.
I frantically search through the water ... knowing His hand MUST be close - and yet - am continually unable to grasp it. Why He has allowed this season to endure for so long? Why does it feel as though He has ignored my cry … ignored our SOS?
My family is suffering - drowning - and it feels as if there is no hope. It feels as though this nightmare continues to spiral downward and the heart wrenching sadness continues to get heavier and heavier. With each passing day, the weight gets more impossible to carry. I’m sitting in the middle of situations I cannot fix. My hands are tied and all I can do is helplessly watch them unfold.
Life seems to go in seasons.
Sometimes we are able to sit in the peace of spring, with the promise of life and growth on the horizon. Sometimes we find ourselves in summer, where we can take a deep breath in and enjoy the many blessings this life has to offer. Eventually fall comes and with it a cool breeze that signals a shifting of the tide. And then inevitably … winter. It eventually comes for us all. It’s cold and it’s dark and it’s scary. Thank goodness seasons always change.
Right now I am in the dead of winter. It has already felt endless, and yet, I fear there is an even deeper freeze ahead. I am trying my best to be present where I am and not strain my eyes through the blizzard, desperately looking for greener pastures. I am trying my best to “water the grass I’m standing on,” as I recently heard a pastor say. It was super powerful and convicting and such a true statement. I think of his words often, but at times of overwhelming sadness, fear and exhaustion, find myself wondering what good it would do to water the snow that currently resides beneath my feet.
Panic sets in. I feel like I’m sinking. And then I feel a warmth and the snow around me starts to recede. And there it is … my patch of green grass. No, it is not because my circumstances have changed, but because I KNOW MY GOD HAS NOT. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His promise for me and my family has not changed. His faithfulness is alive and well … simply because His word says it is. HE is what I need to focus on in all seasons - not just when the cold is present.
I frantically have been searching for His hand this whole time, questioning why it has been absent, when all along it has been there. I have been doing life for Him for so long - and with genuine intentions - but unfortunately, have missed the mark entirely.
Life FOR HIM instead of WITH HIM.
I ask Him why I feel so alone, why I feel so lost - so overwhelmed - and yet, rarely stop and truly invest my time in Him. He has patiently sat and watched me continue to make the same mistake over and over. All the while, He has been there with tears in His eyes whispering, “Be still child … look up … I’m here … there is nowhere you will go that I will not go too.”
Hope IS on the horizon. Sometimes it’s just hard to see when there is so much rain (or snow or waves too high). I tell this to the broken often. Today I need to remind myself of it’s truth.
My hope is in Jesus alone.
Even in oceans deep … my faith will stand.
I don’t have to walk the road of this life alone. Regardless what the world around me is screaming … regardless of the seemingly endless winter or the turbulent waters, I know God is still with me. I know one day it will be ok. His truth will always trump my circumstances. As His follower, I am called to live by that truth regardless of what I may or may not feel during certain seasons of my life. My human nature makes this an impossible pill to swallow at times, but does not change who He is and what He has already done for me.
Nowhere but at the foot of the cross, is the grass greener … the water calmer. Nowhere but at the foot of the cross, can this life’s pain be quenched.
Though Christ and Christ alone, my family and I will make it through the cold, the dark and the messy of this life. Though Christ alone, we have HOPE … because through Christ and Christ alone, my family and I will someday be together and whole again.
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.
- Hillsong United