In January 2015, my family and I got to visit Hawaii. Hawaii is truly unlike anything you could imagine, and yet it’s everything you imagine. It’s a majestic paradise. It’s definitely nothing like the rolling red dirt hills of Oklahoma. (I love you Oklahoma).
One of the places we stayed was right on the coast of the Big Island, with massive 10-foot waves crashing along the rocky coastline. This coast was much different than the Seaside/Santa Rosa beach area in northwestern Florida. There the waves gently lap against sugar white beaches.
In Kona, the raw force of the ocean is barely held at bay. I have to say, I don’t enjoy being in the ocean a whole lot. By the ocean? Sign me up. But spending lots of time in the ocean stresses me out. What gets to me is the vastness, the unfathomable depth below. When you’re in the ocean, you are not in control. The water is in control, and you can’t begin to understand its power. Surfing is one of the more terrifying thing I can imagine attempting.
We watched a surfing competition off the North Shore, and I don’t know how those surfers subjected themselves again and again to the merciless wall of water. A lot of water is very powerful, and very terrifying.
If you think about it, a lot of worship songs compare God’s love/presence and our Christian walk to ocean and waves.
“If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…”
“You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown, where feet may fail…”
“As your love, in wave after wave, crashes over me…”
“You crash over me…”
Do we realize what we are saying when we sing that “His love crashes over us in wave after wave”? The Pacific is nothing compared to the overwhelming, all powerful life-changing love that emanates from the person of God.
I loved sitting on the balcony and staring at the waves, letting the roar fill my ears and playing “Shout to the Lord” in the background. It was worship. It filled me with awe. The ocean helps me understand God in a more profound way, but it also still terrifies me. If you were to actually let waves crash over and over you, you would drown. When we went bodysurfing in knee-deep water, I was shocked by how that small amount of water could sweep me off my feet.
Are we prepared for the ferocity of change that God’s love brings to our lives? I know that I’m often guilty of underestimating what I signed up for. The intensity. The seriousness. The life-changing implications.
As a whole, we are not a serious society. We are a BuzzFeed society that likes 90-second videos about stupid things that happen in an office, a movie theater, or a bathroom.
I fully believe that God does have a sense of humor, and loves to laugh, but he is also the king of kings. Does that register with us? Oceans. Waves. God created those oceans and controls the waves. We owe him our worship and allegiance.
The next time you hear one of these ocean songs, think about the implication behind such powerful imagery. Out on the ocean of God’s love, there is no turning back. You keep moving further out into deeper water and deeper into Him. Are you ready for that?