If you’re at all familiar with the contemporary Christian music genre, you’ve no doubt heard the song “Oceans.” It’s a powerful song about faith and being willing to go wherever God sends you, and there was the big trend to sing this song loud and proud without really taking into account the meaning behind the song. So then there came a time of people not being so quick to sing it for fear of not having big enough faith or doing big enough things- I found myself there, feeling like I couldn’t really mean these words being sung about walking out onto the water into the unknown. I mean, really, I’m a stay at home mom in a small town, the very town I grew up in, married to my college sweetheart- not a lot of big, dramatic, walk-on-water moments, right?
EXCEPT… maybe, just maybe, walking on water in faith is being right where God has placed you, even if that means doing the mundane day in and day out. Perhaps sometimes radical faith is staying the course. Sometimes it isn’t crossing oceans to reach a foreign people but rather being present with the people right here in your hometown, or even just in your home. Sometimes it’s cleaning messes and changing diapers and reading stories. Sometimes it’s cooking meals or helping with homework or driving little people to practice. Sometimes it’s grocery shopping or paying bills or chatting with a neighbor. Sometimes it’s helping out that new mom or visiting the elderly or hosting your kid’s friends for a sleepover. Sometimes it’s trips to the doctor and scans and tests and making them take medicine and living with a mountain of unknowns.
Because those are all opportunities. It’s all a chance to exercise faith and trust God a little more and share Jesus and extend grace and love and mercy- to go deeper. I don’t have to cross the ocean to give my all to God. Quite often my deepest waters are right within the walls of my home. My feet may fail and fear surrounds me all. the. time. Any one of us can find ourselves thrust into the mystery of the great unknown at any given time, even if we feel we’re safe in our comfort zone. And sometimes trusting God means accepting the place you’re in, the role you’ve been given- even if it doesn’t seem big and grand and important. It all matters.
So I’m looking at this song with renewed vision… believing that God may be leading some of us to big, bold things that turn our worlds upside-down, but that He also calls some of us to do the things here, the things at home that not everyone sees. No matter where we are or what role we are playing, we all have an ocean to face. We can all make the choice to follow Him in faith, call on His name, and go deeper.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
-I Corinthians 1:26-29
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
-2 Corinthians 12:7-10