I doubt it if there is a story in the bible that fully captures the reality of Christianity better than the story of Jesus’ stroll on the waters of Gennesaret. All the struggles Christians face are captured in the story. This makes it highly relatable by different people going through different problems because it is high in symbolism. I equally doubt it if there is a song in this world that captures this story better than Hillsong’s ‘Oceans’. I doubt that.
The dangers of obeying God: One of the most baffling experiences in one’s walk with God is when he consciously finds himself in the will of God and yet exposed to so much peril. It hasn’t happened just once, not twice but countless times in the bible and in the day-to-day activities of present day Christians. I find it very interesting that Jesus was the one who sent his disciples out on that stormy voyage while he stayed behind to disperse the crowds (that’s strange). He literally sent them into danger. That is rather disappointing and it’s almost a betrayal. Peter and his cohorts walked into danger by following God’s instructions. Jonah ended up in the same situation by disobeying God. But this wasn’t Jonah this was Simon Bar-JONAH and his colleagues. It is amazing how the disciples experienced the same predicament through obedience that Jonah did through disobedience.
Mark’s account of this story (Mark6:48) is very fascinating. According to Mark, when Jesus appeared on the sea he was walking past them. He seemed to be uninterested in the plight of his own disciples. He was walking past them, until their cries caught his attention. We often assume God knows it all hence he should be able to know all our worries and therefore it is needless for us to draw His attention to us in prayer. Well I have news for you, He is walking by, will you call on him or you will just watch him walk by? Countless times we see this happen in the bible. When Jesus clearly walks up to someone who is afflicted by some disease and yet still asks how He may be of help to the person. God won’t interfere in a situation he isn’t invited into. The truth remains, if you want a load of blessings, heavy enough to force you to your knees, please get on your knees first.
In the second verse of the song it says:
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.
Have you not found yourself praying for abundant grace before? Well, according to the song, abundant grace can only be found at one place: IN DEEPEST WATERS. God’s greatest resource (Grace) is only available when He is the only one available to you. Better yet, His grace is available when you are at your wit’s end. Therefore He said, ‘my strength is made perfect in your weakness’. The ‘deepest waters’ are the places where everybody fails you. They are the places where every single person you know is either incapable of helping you or has totally neglected you. The song writer calls it a place ‘where feet may fail’. The faith I have in my feet is exceedingly above anything else. When I wake up in the morning I never doubt the fact that the moment I throw my feet off the bed the next thing is to walk. My feet are my support. They have never failed me and will never fail me. We all have feet in our lives. No, I do not mean ‘feet’ literally. I mean that physical entity that seems to always have your back and won’t ever leave you, not for all the fish in the sea. It could be your parents, their wealth, your intellect, your beauty, your health, your friend or even that lover. These are your feet. The truth is they may fail you one of these days, if they haven’t already. But a more soothing and sweet fact is that, if they fail you, God is available. In such situations, God has never failed and he won’t start with you.
The desire to be tested in deeper waters: the songwriter says:
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.
What is shocking in the story about Jesus’ walk on the water is the fact that Peter called to Jesus asking to join Jesus on the sea. The call to be taken away from one’s own comfort zone has to be one of the most outrageous things to do. In the midst of the storm, there is enough reason to fret but Peter turns the heat up a notch by desiring to defy Archimedes’s law of flotation. I can almost see the perplexed look on the faces of the other disciples when Peter took that first step on the water. Peter’s decision was one taken in total trust in the nebulous creature before him. Especially because it claimed to be the Jesus he knew. It is worthy of note that our acts of faith are only necessary when we are at sea. When our backs are against the wall that is when our faith is necessary. When you are broke, that is when giving to God even means more to him. For in that, you prove to him that you are not a slave to money but you are happily leashed only by Him. You express your boundless trust in him in such circumstances by desiring to be stripped of any other relief mechanism. The song writer puts it this way ‘… where my trust is without borders’: the place where my trust in God cannot be restrained. The place where my trust in God is ever increasing and gaining more grounds (or borderless) like wild bush fire, is the same place where his grace is abundant; and that is where I want to spend the rest of my life. When the song says ‘Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me’, it only establishes the fact that wherever God will ever send you, there is a sea to walk on. God will always require you to do the seemingly impossible things: a walk on the deep blue seas. Such a place, one cannot walk there except he is sent there purposely by the Savior. That is why the song writer desires of the Spirit to lead him to a place deeper than anywhere his feet could ever wander. At the end of all of this, it is supposed to increase our faith in God. This is an amazing story captured beautifully in an amazing song. The electrifying voice of Taya Smith makes listening to the song a calming and reflective experience. It is just amazing.
I believe Simon Peter would have wished he had heard the story of a pre-historic Peter who encountered Jesus on the sea. By this example he could have kept his eyes on the Savior (or above the waves) and therefore he wouldn’t have sunk. Well, unfortunately for him he didn’t but fortunately for us, we have heard of such a story. A story that teaches us this truth: when you focus on the problem instead of the solution, you will be overwhelmed by the problem. I like how someone put it, he said, ‘don’t tell your God how big your problem is, rather tell your problem how big your God is’. Let’s be God-conscious and not problem-conscious. It is amazing that Jesus came to the rescue of ‘the drowning Peter’. Jesus, the same one who was impressed by Peter’s decision to join him on the water came to his rescue. It is refreshing to know that anytime we fail, his hands are ever ready and present to come to our rescue. This is Grace, Praise God.
Please share with me how the song has been a blessing to you. it is in the link below.