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This is part four of a seven part series of devotionals based on “Oceans” by Hillsong United. If you missed the beginning of the “Oceans” devotional series, click here.
“So I will call upon Your name and keep my eyes above the waves” -“Oceans”
When you think about the ocean, what comes to mind? For me personally, it depends on my physical location. If I’m on the beach looking out on the ocean, I find I am always overwhelmed with the beauty, power and majesty of the ocean. I feel recharged and refreshed from just gazing upon the waters.
However, I have to admit that my feelings drastically change if I’m in the water. There, I can’t help but feel anxious thinking about what might be swimming by me that I can’t see. The slightest ruffle of seaweed makes me think I’m about to be beset with jellyfish and sharks. Not to mention the waves, which can be rough when they are crashing down unexpectedly, or when the tide draws you further out.
That beautiful ocean can be really scary.
But the ocean is still the same, whether I am looking at it from a distance or swimming in the waters. It’s still beautiful, powerful and majestic. The thing that changes is my perspective, my experience, my feelings.
Life is an ocean – sometimes we feel safe and sometimes we feel overwhelmed and insecure. But it’s still life and nothing has changed but our experience, our feelings, and yes – our perspective.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO PERSPECTIVE.
I often find myself lost in my own perspective, believing what I feel inside is reality outside. This has been a struggle all of my life. But feelings are not necessarily true.
Feelings can really mess us up. We can lose our perspective when our feelings get out of sort. We begin to imagine scenarios that simply don’t exist. They certainly feel like they are real, and because of our perspective, we can easily feel like we are drowning.
In part three of this devotional series on the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United, I wrote about how God calls us, calls out of hiding. But God is not the only one who has the ability to call. We also can call.
WE CAN CALL UPON HIS NAME FOR OUR REFUGE, OUR LIFEBOAT.
The refrain of “Oceans” highlights this point:
“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.”
Life can whip up some serious storms and waves, but God is there with us, never leaving us on our own. The storms in our life can be a huge distraction and make us lose our focus on who matters.
But God is still the same in the storm and the calm. He is an unchanging God, a reliable God, a safe God.
The refrain of “Oceans” declares that we keep our eyes on Jesus, not what’s around us. This reminds me of a very famous Bible story where Peter is faced with this exact situation.
In Matthew 14:22-33, Peter walks on water by fixing his gaze on Jesus, but then he starts to get distracted by his surroundings, the wind and the water, he begins to sink.
Peter forgot what, rather than who, mattered. He forgot who called Him out on the water.
Peter, like all of us, looked around and was scared. WE CAN CALL UPON HIS NAME FOR OUR REFUGE, OUR LIFEBOAT.
He lost his way, but the key fact of this story is that Jesus remained stable, trustworthy, secure. Peter got lost, but Jesus never lost His sight on Peter. Jesus remained in control, even though Peter lost perspective. At the moment Peter cried out, Jesus saved him from sinking.
It’s the same with us. We may lose sight of God, but God never loses sight of us. He is right there with us, even though we may not feel Him or remember He is there. Our perspective may be distorted, but God is with us. This is very important to remember and to hold on to in times of drowning.
While the waves may feel like they are crashing on top of us, Jesus is right there, strong and secure – waiting for us to call upon His name.
Let this thought carry you through wherever you may be journeying. Know God is right there, so focus on Him, not the situation. It’s all about our perspective, so keep your eyes on the only thing that matters and that’s God and His abundant love for you. Take courage and trust that God has you. Even though you may feel you are sinking, He is right there to raise you from the waters.