I was already having a difficult time holding back my tears as I prepared my heart and mind to preach at the Christian Revival Church in Lesotho, Africa. It was our first time back to CRC since Pastor David was killed a few months earlier and a million memories were flashing through my mind as Patty and I sat by his wife Lizzy. Then the dam broke as the praise team sang “Oceans.” The lyrics were just as overwhelming and emotional as they were on that Father’s Day 51/2 years ago. In 2014 I shared with the CRC about stepping out of the boat to begin the nonprofit Oceans Ministries. I remember it as clear as day, for as I finished preaching Pastor David requested that the praise team sing “Oceans.” Yes, that moment will be forever imprinted on my mind as Abba spoke loud and clear, “I’m with you in the middle of the ocean!”
These lyrics again busted through my brain into the depth of my soul as I knew the Father was reminding me of His past faithfulness and present presence to carry Oceans forward into a new seasons in Southern Africa:
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
As I shouted out those lyrics waves of God’s grace flooded me with perfect peace as I reflected on all Abba has done in the past 5 plus years. Truly His Sovereign hand has lifted Oceans up and carried us to places we could have never dreamed of. Even when my feet have failed and fear surrounded me His unfailing love has never let go. His grace shows up when we are in the deepest part of the ocean and all we have to hold onto are His promises. The CRC church, Lizzy and her two boys had just been through a horrific storm and yet waves of grace flooded the church. In fact, as we worshiped, our whole team was carried by those waves deeper into the presence of God’s amazing love. Many of the young people with us testified that they had never experienced anything like it and I doubt they will never forget it.
Could it be that the place where we are to dwell is the place where our feet cannot touch? Where our hope is anchored tightly to Jesus Christ who reigns as the sovereign King in the heavenly realms (Hebrews 6:19)? Our Good Father reminded me on that Sunday in Lesotho that the farther away I get from the “safety” of the shore the greater His grace abounds. Or as Pastor David’s oldest son said to me, “the world has nothing that I need.” The death of his father could have made him bitter or caused him to turn away from his faith, but instead he focused his eyes on his heavenly Father and asked for grace to heal his heart and give him hope for the future.
As you begin 2020 let Jesus take you out into the ocean where you can’t touch and you will find that He is with you in miraculous ways in the middle of the ocean, a place where His grace abounds!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” (Isa. 41:10).
Clink on this link to hear the song live………https://www.instagram.com/p/B7Oyflshhd0/?igshid=ojzjf0fbj7o5