One of my all-time favorite songs is “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by the band Hillsong United.
First off, based on the themes behind the song, I think the real reason why my curiosity and passion for this subject has piqued in recent months is because I had it played by some friends of mine at Lauren’s Celebration of Life. However, long before she died, it held significance for me regarding my own journey with anxiety and is even partly the basis of the first tattoo I ever got.
The leader of the band Hillsong United is named Joel Houston and I’ve linked to a video of them performing a special rendition of this song below. Based on what Joel says, the song even more perfectly encapsulates the meaning behind and the result of the direction my and my kids’ life stories have taken in recent months since losing Lauren.
To a degree, the rest of life is unknown. And that degree might very well be the majority. To put it bluntly, there has been a shit storm and I have to keep my eyes above the waves lest I drown.
The second reason I am particularly passionate about this song at the moment is because a friend of mine, Chad (he’s growing into a more cherished friend each day) has magically made it so that I will be able to see this band play the song live tomorrow night here in my and Lauren’s beloved Portland. The details as to how this came to pass aren’t important, but what is important is that there is a very real God calling each and every one of us to have faith. To just let go of our wants and needs and our desire to cling to what we know and to simply trust Him. I found that difficult to do until I lost my wife. But now that I’ve gone through that, it’s all the easier for me to fully surrender to Him. I’m not saying that if you’re reading this that you have to go through such a tragedy in order to have “real” faith, in fact, I adamantly pray against that. But what I am saying is that I’m willing to allow the Holy Spirit to use me and what I have gone through as a means to hopefully help those within my sphere of influence who haven’t gone through something like what I have and still be able to reach that depth of faith.
What I have come to see is that there has to come a point in each of our lives when we truly trust that His will is what is best for us and that His real character is absolutely worthy of our trust. The number one prayer that I have for my life as it continues to move forward is that this would be so for me and the people who know me.
You see, the thing is, I’m not willing to just let something like my faith in Jesus go at the need for empirical evidence. There has to come a point where I exercise my faith, right? Otherwise what’s the point? You can give me evidence and proof of something all day long and at the end of that day all you’ve done is take away my choice to have faith in that thing.
Here’s the cool thing about what it means to be human: We can cling to the concrete, we can cling to the tangible, we can cling to what we know. But where is the risk? Where is the faith? Where is the trust?
For me, it all comes down to responsibility. Take some responsibility for yourself. If you are spoon-fed everything which has formed your view of the universe then how can there possibly be room for faith? Where is the risk? Where is the trust?
I would absolutely never want to be married to a woman who was given no choice in the matter of whether or not she wanted to reciprocate my feelings and choose me in return. If I were given empirical evidence that a female were either told to love me or else or she absolutely already had feelings for me without my foreknowledge then the element of pursuit and risk and faith would be taken out of the equation and, to me, it wouldn’t be worth it.
Am I making sense?
For me, speaking about responsibility, I mean that we have a say-so in the matter. We can’t just coast through life waiting for a sure sign or evidence of what we are supposed to do. We are imperfect beings meant to take risks. On any given day, I would rather take a risk and put myself out there and ask a woman to coffee or dinner, all the while having no frickin’ clue as to whether or not she thinks I’m a jagweed, and risk getting turned down than to basically be told, “This is a sure thing. The success is guaranteed, You stand no chance of failure.”
I will end with this: If you’re reading this post then my encouragement to you is to listen to the words spoken at the beginning and end of the video below by Joel Houston and to really let the meaning behind this song sink into the core of your being. At the end of the day, when the sun has set beyond the horizon, all that is left is for us to strive for our faith to increase. And it might be that the thing in which we as humans choose to place our faith is different for everyone. But as for me? I choose to put my hope and faith in Jesus. I don’t care whether or not it has or hasn’t been scientifically proven that He actually walked the earth, because I’m making the conscious choice to place my faith in Him. And my belief is when that happens the possibilities of our lives — no matter what we’ve been through — are truly endless.
Please be blessed this day.