When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace…
Be afraid, but never lose faith.
Seems like my life can be explained by song lyrics. I was considering the finale from the Broadway musical, The Wiz, Home, written by Charlie Smalls. There’s a verse that accurately captures the faith journey I’ve been on for the past few years.
Suddenly my world has changed it’s face
But I still know where I’m going
I have had my mind spun around in space
And yet I’ve watched it growing…
Here’s the thing; there was a time in my life when I was afraid AND let my fear paralyze me, robbing me of the ability to move forward. I wrote about being in the wilderness, beseeching God for why I had such a difficult path to trod, and saw only hard places. Not only was I afraid, I could not move forward. It is clear to me now that God was getting my attention. I needed to stop fighting. I needed to stop believing that I had ANY control over my path or my Peace. I needed surrender. It wasn’t easy (having blogged more than 3 years now, I spend about 20% of my energy and my words writing about surrender.) It wasn’t easy, but I began to submit my will to His.
I write about surrender regularly…
I am thankful that God dealt gently with my fear. I never doubted that He was bigger than the storm; I earnestly intended to surrender myself, my fear, my whole self to Him, and He rewarded my earnest intent with Grace (that’s what He does).
Once I began to appreciate submission and surrender (notice I didn’t say I mastered them), God drew me even closer to Him, but He required a deeper sacrifice first; I had to be broken.
Next stop? I learned to live with my brokenness, I asked NOT to be restored, because I have come to appreciate that being broken forever confirmed my dependence upon The One Who makes me whole, a hard but beautiful lesson.
Then I entered the Crucible. On January 1 of this year, I made my newest confession on my blog. “For me, the wilderness was never the point, only a process. I thought surrendering was my destination, but it wasn’t. I believed confessing my brokenness was the point, but it was only the beginning. The third chapter of Malachi speaks of the Levites being purified by fire, that they might offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
What is the Crucible, you ask? Merriam Webster provides the following by way of definition,
- a pot in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted
- a difficult test or challenge
- a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions
That is where God placed me, despite my fears.
When faced with fear, for me, there are only two options, fight or flight-and here’s a clue to my personality…
I don’t run.
So (FINALLY), here’s where Dorothy and the lyrics come in. Like the Wiz’s protagonist, the last few years have represented my embrace of the journey I call Life Through Fear. Hear my declaration,
Be Afraid, But NEVER Lose Faith.
When we decided to use Hillsong UNITED’s Oceans as a writing prompt, my choice of lyrics was easy.
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace…
You see, despite my wilderness wanderings, despite my struggles, my Divine lesson has always been this…Comfort is where My God is…even in the wilderness. (<==== Click to tweet) As Dorothy sings it, despite my world having changed its face, I rest in His Embrace. In the midst of having my mind spun around in space, He is my shelter. Even as the oceans rise, should the waters overtake me, I’m good. I’m resting. He is, and there I will abide.
How do I bring this all together? In the words of the 46th Psalm.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. Psalms 46:1-5 (KJV)
Some encouragement has the capacity to immediately lift you from your despairing to joy. Fair warning, this isn’t THAT kind of encouragement, but stand fast, this is warrior wisdom. I accept that the balance of my life may be lived in the wilderness, in the close and uncomfortable confines of the Crucible, and yet I rejoice. I rest in His Embrace. I take shelter beside a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. I’m good. I’m covered. Everywhere I am, He is. God is in my midst, and I shall not be moved. (<==== Click to tweet) And that place, in Him, is peaceful, and beautiful, and safe.
Shared by Chelle Wilson
Here at God-sized Dreams, we are partial to the song Oceans, by Hillsong United.
It encapsulates the ideas of facing big struggles, turning to Jesus, and the freedom of resting in His embrace.
Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout this month of May,
we’re going to explore these issues as presented through the lyrics of the song.
All posts in the series can be found on the Oceans page.