Mar 15, 2018

Keeping My Eyes Above the Waves

I love water! I love to look at it, swim in it, use all types of boats and watercrafts on it. I love to drink it; hot and cold. When it is frozen it becomes one of my happy places to be; especially if it has a hockey net at either end of the frozen area of water.

But my love of water wasn’t always a huge part of my life.

When I was very young, I had a traumatic experience that caused me to be afraid of the water for a while. I was up at my grandparents’ cabin; which was one of my favorite places to be as child.

My older siblings decided that it was time for me to learn to swim. To do this, they helped me get out to the diving dock on the lake. Once out there, they told me that I couldn’t get off the dock unless I would jump off into the deep side.

When I hesitated, I was thrown off and then one of my older siblings held me under water. This was their attempt to make it so that I wasn’t afraid of the water and would learn to swim and to dive.

Needless to say, it didn’t achieve their goal. Instead, I was ‘afraid’ of the water; that is until I took swimming lessons at the local YMCA. The lessons not only taught me how to swim and get over my ‘fear’ of the water, but also gave me a confidence to even join an AAU swim and diving team. I competed in both swimming and diving meets and I eventually was able to jump off a five-meter platform at a diving competition.

My youngest daughter Rachel had a completely different experience when it came to water. When she was very young, she had a non-fear of water; almost to the point of concern for both Cathy and I.

She would run and jump into the water and not even be aware of the fact that she needed to breathe as she smiled all the way down to the bottom of the pool. This meant that one of us had to stay close to her and be ready to jump in and rescue her from the bottom of the pool when she forgot that she needed oxygen.

At one end of the swimming pool at the same YMCA that I had learned to swim, there is an observation window where parents can watch their children swim.

During her swimming lessons, Rachel would jump in and swim towards the end of the pool where we were sitting, smiling at us as the water poured into her open mouth.

She appeared to be oblivious to the water and waves in her face because she kept her eyes above the waves, moving forward, and having fun as she focused upon her loving parents who were waiting for her at the other end of the pool.

Instinctively she knew that if she got into trouble, one of us would jump in and rescue her like we had done so many times before.

And, I am happy to report that twenty-some years later Rachel continues to love the water; with an understanding that she needs to breathe.

I thought of Rachel recently while listening to the song by Hillsongs called “Oceans…Where Feet May Fail”. The song is a declaration that we too will keep our eyes above the waves as life crashes upon us and we find it difficult to breathe.

It is a song that declares that our eyes will be upon the One who is ‘at the end of the pool’ waiting for us. One who has always been faithful; He’s never failed and He won’t start now. One who calls out to us and reminds us that we belong to Him.

Do you KNOW this One? He is called Father in the Bible and the only way to know Him is through His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only way, truth, and life. Jesus said that no one comes to the Father except through Him (See John 14:6).

The good news is that Jesus wants to take you to the Father; that is the goal of His death, burial, and resurrection: A relationship with the Father!

Do you KNOW this One? He wants for you to do so today; He’s calling out for you to come to be with Him. He already knows that you’ve made a mess of your life (sinned). That is the other goal of His death, burial, and resurrection: Forgiveness with the Father!

Do you want it? Jesus wants to help you today. Simply call out His Name right now. Then call 1-888-NEED-HIM for more assistance. Or drop me a line at

Pastor Tommy O, River of Hope Ministries

Oceans (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

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

So 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

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 will call upon Your name

Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group