Music often puts into words, feelings, which we know to be true, and expresses it in a way that brings new meaning to us. One of my favorite songs is Oceans, by Hillsong. The words, “You call me out upon the water, the great unknown, where feet may fail.” Yeah, that speaks to me. Most of the time I’m trying to do what God wants me to, the possibility of failing is ever present like its my co-joined twin. Should be a hashtag, Fear forever near. It is the companion we wish would just leave already! We hate it, but it stays the course, not acknowledging us, nor deviating from it’s purpose.
The ocean has always been such an incredible place of reflection for me. As I gaze upon one of the most beautiful, dynamic, mentally and physically relaxing places on earth, I feel both a great fear as well as self-esteem for all the times that I have made myself venture out into it. There is nothing more beautiful to me than to look at the ocean from the sand. Yet as I walk into it, and for the entire duration of time that I remain in the ocean, I am doing a 2 eyed, 360 degree, circular swim, looking for: 1. Sharks, 2. Jellyfish, 3. Seaweed 4. Sea snake, 5. Rock or coral that could cut my feet, 6. A large wave coming that could knock me down and pull me out to sea.
I have even mastered my horrified fear of dark night water, by taking cruises, and staring at that turgid water of churning blackness, by saying to myself, if we go down it’s fine. If all else fails find a plank of wood! So, gazing into the ocean, leaves me feeling both fear and victory. These two feelings apparently are friends! You don’t find one of them, without the other standing close by. Fear + Action = Victory, Fear + No Action Taken = Defeat.
One may wonder, what if the action taken is a failure? My answer to that is, action taken cannot be a failure. Because once we realize that a particular action taken, did or did not work, we just got smarter! Note to self *did/did not work*. What’s next?
“But there I find you in the mystery; in oceans deep my faith will stand.” The reason these words move me so greatly is because of the many prayers I have prayed. Year’s and year’s worth of prayers, wherein the answer still lies in mystery. Mystery that I have wrapped in faith.
I have prayed and still pray, to overcome the wall of shyness, and to be able to minister to people around me. I pray to be used of the spirit, not just for myself, but that my children will also be used, that my husband, my family, my youth group and my TPOG church family will be used. I have walked on college campuses weekly for the last 7 years, while taking classes, watching close to 20,000 people walking around me, praying for them, claiming them for Jesus Christ. I have spoken in the spirit, both, to things, and against things, that would keep these adults from realizing their purpose, their help, their hope, and their life. And I did it all in Jesus name.
Praying this way is like looking at the ocean, both scary, and empowering. The knowledge that fear is with me at every important event of my life is now a revelation. Even writing this blog has been a result of prayers prayed. Thoughts that friends wouldn’t support me. That they would think that I was trying to be some kind of celebrity or that I am embarrassing the family. Yes I live with it all. But It no longer determines whether I am going to do something or not. Any achievement in life only happens, as a result of ignoring Fear. Fear is there and remains there still. True, I can’t always sleep after a post, feeling the heat of embarrassment from exposing my thoughts and heart. But I now notice it’s there before EVERYTHING, I have determined I’m going to do. So what! I say to myself. Yes, I care very much what Fear says to me. It hurts me, it scares me, it consumes me… and then… “Just do it”, I say to myself. True support comes to the surface. Then I walk into my future. Staring Fear defiantly in the eye as I speak to the one who has led me, for so many years now I can’t count. Studying Psychology hasn’t hurt either;)! Facing fear, is an integral fight in the human condition.
I have often been afraid that the enemy would fight against me for praying important prayers. The enemy did. I have suffered the consequences of praying prayers at times, when the very week that I had prayed with such boldness, and spiritual authority, something I never dreamed would happen, to lay me flat out both in spirit and in body. You may think, what could do that? Maybe a loved one, either in the church, or out, saying or doing something, that hurt so badly it took the breath right out of my body. A hurt so deep I could barely breathe when I remembered, for months later. I even told God after one of these episodes, I will never pray such a bold prayer out loud again, because the enemy just about broke my heart! And I knew it was enemy warfare. I’m not stupid. But then…. I did pray that prayer again. I just couldn’t help myself. But I learned to spend a significant amount of time praying a hedge of protection around everybody, and everything, I can think of. I pray that the protection of God will surround me, cover me, and that God himself will scramble my words so the enemy can’t understand what is being said;).
Being a pastor’s wife they say is one of the most stressful jobs that there is. I say loving people with a open heart is one of the scariest parts to it. Because the more the church grows, the more people you learn to love deeply and consider family. And the more people you learn to love deeply, the greater the possibility for hurt and dismay. Still, to love deeply is more than worth it! For those who love deeply get the return of being loved deeply. And to have that kind of love in your life, is better than finding an oil well on your property, folks!!
So then walking on the water “where feet may fail” is a must, for those who want to be used in the spirit realm. You know within your heart, whether that is something you want, or not. If it is, then you feel a pulsing beautiful emotion that makes you feel alive just to think of it. And once God HAS used you. You are never the same. You live for that feeling, that knowledge, that purpose, that elation. And having a prayer life is, and always will remain, a mystery.
The mystery of prayer, is wondering if it is accomplishing it’s work. Is he doing it? Did God do what I asked for tonight as I prayed? Is something changing the situation? How much longer do I have to pray for this thing to occur? Assuming we are praying according to his will. None of these things are known when we pray. We often pray for thought processes to change, in another human being, or in our self, for healing to begin within someone, or in us, for forgiveness to do its work in another, or within us. These prayers are all wrapped in mystery.
Prayers are usually about things that we cannot control by any means at all. Knowing if we touch them, we could very possibly, make everything worse. We are often asking God to turn a person, or situation, around.
That is why daily praying is so effective! We bring into every day, gratitude, thoughtfulness, inner observation, meditation on him and the word, consideration of others, and forgiveness along with the desire to do better tomorrow. This makes life much more beautiful!
We do not live life well by making no decisions. Rather we live life well by making decisions knowing, that if its not the right choice, God will help us either way! Before we make the decision, or after we make one! As we know some decisions must be made on the spot! We trust God will lead us out of a net, if we find ourselves in one.
The words, “Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the water, 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 can barely get the words out, most of the time when I am singing this song in praise and worship. I am forced to go into falsetto, because of all the emotion;)!
Why? To trust God so much that I could walk upon the waters of a stormy Sea just because Jesus has said to me “Come”? Yes. That is my wish. I have big gigantic prayers to pray. I have huge hopes and dreams for people, for a city, for a nation, for a world. Specific prayers that I will know when they are answered!
This generation is full of beautiful responsible and intelligent young people who are asking for themselves if there is a God and does he care what happens to them. And I have the knowledge and personal experiences in prayer to share with them.
Just walking out onto the waters of a moving seething ocean, with waves the size of mountains moving, ever changing, and here I am singing, “Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders (fears), Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. That my faith would be made stronger the presence of my Savior”.
Prayer works! I will tell of the many testimonies concerning my prayers that were answered, miracles given, and about the power in the name of Jesus. And every time I do this, I am reminding myself of the acts of God in the life of Melody Elms Eliseo. I have walked upon the water before, and I will do it again. And even though I am fearful, still yet, I wish to walk deeper, “Than my feet could ever wander. That my faith would be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior…Spirit lead me”….
*Oceans by Hillsong