Where Feet May Fail

I’m enjoying the new Hillsongs United release, Zion, as I edit and update blog posts. One of the songs in particular speaks to my heart for this worship-specific blog.

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Joel Houston, Matt Crocker & Salomon Ligthelm

from user *clairity* on Flickr, see description for details

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

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

I spent over two years at the Presidio of Monterey in California. On my first trip there, I was a single young man with few responsibilities outside of work. My friends and I often headed to the nearby beaches to enjoy the surf. For a Chicago boy, the ocean was something completely new, extraordinary and vast, fresh and vibrant.

I learned quickly that it is also very powerful. My best friend and I were climbing around on jagged rocks as huge waves were crashing into the beach at Asilomar. We got a little close, and I remember turning to see a waist-high wave breaking before I found myself pushed backwards across the rocks.

The ocean can be a risky place.

My daughter Deborah was about seven and was playing in the water at Kadena Marina on Okinawa. She stayed close to her mommy, at the point where she could keep her head above the gentle waves while still touching the surface beneath the water.

Then she went past the natural ledge and hit a sharp drop-off. My wife Jami heard a sudden panicked “Mommy!” before Deborah went under. Thanks to a swift instinctive reaction, Jami’s arm shot out and caught hold of Deborah under the water, pulling her to safety.

When you walk out into the water, you risk finding depths where your feet won’t touch the bottom.

When we step out in faith, we find places where our abilities and our capacities come to an end… where we’re forced to rely on God.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I’m not at this point yet, that’s for sure. This concept of “wanton disregard for safety” and chasing the storm is something I’m saying as much to myself as to anyone else. My fears and my hunger for security try to hold me back from stepping out of the boat, even though Jesus stands there saying, “It is I, do not be afraid.”

That doesn’t mean I have to stay that way.


One thought on “Where Feet May Fail

  1. I just stumbled across your blog while searching for this song’s lyrics because something didn’t sit right with me. At first I thought this song was simply about trusting God to find comfort in troubled times. But I couldn’t understand why the singer would keep only her eyes above the waves as oceans rise. Surely, she meant to keep her whole head above the waves? But the song isn’t a cliche about God saving us if we just keep our chin up and trust Him. Its about absolute trust and reckless obedience. Thank you for helping me understand.

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