Legendary producer and songwriter Ed Cash and his band, We The Kingdom (made up of his daughter, son, brother, and himself, along with one other guy) recorded a live version of this beautiful song and released it in the summer of 2019. The video, which can be found on YouTube (and embedded below) is inspiring to watch. Franni Rae Cash is fun to watch sing as she gets caught up in worship, and who can help but smile when watching a group of people with their arms around each other, or arms raised to heaven in worship singing these lyrics?
I enjoy the 6/8 groove of this song, which gets me swaying just a little back and forth as if in sync with the rhythm of the sea – so appropriate for a song titled Dancing on the Waves. And I enjoy the lilting melody of the verses and how the chorus melody lands more firmly as if on solid ground, and the crescendoing bridge just seems to soar.
But what I love most is THE LYRIC. The words are quite poetic, sure, but the poignancy of this poem is not in the phrasing or choice of words – it’s in the message, and the fact that this message is so needed! The message of this lyric is one that can literally transform a person. I’ve heard stories of people who were contemplating suicide but decided not to follow through because they heard a song on Christian Radio that helped them see value in their own life and how God really does love them despite what they might think of themselves. If those stories are true, if there was ever a song that could really get the message of God’s love for a person into their hearts and minds, this is one of those songs.
I’m not usually a fan of songs sung from the perspective of God, because it’s pretty presumptuous to put words in the mouth of God. Can we really be confident that we know what God would say? But this lyric sticks INCREDIBLY close to scripture itself, so I feel quite confident in the truth behind these words. It’s also interesting to hear God’s words being sung to me in a female voice. If you struggle with a feminine voice for God please remember that everything that is female or feminine is directly part of the image of God. Where do women get their feminine qualities? As part of the image of God that they bear. We should have a longer discussion about that, but we’ll save it for another post. For now, we’ll stay focused on the lyric itself.
Let’s take a closer look at these words and reflect on their theological truth and their significance for our lives. Let’s worship the Lord through reflection.
DANCING ON THE WAVES
We The Kingdom: Ed Cash, Franni Rae Cash, Martin Cash, Scott Cash, Kyle Briskin, Andrew Bergthold
I’m standing at your door [Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”]
My heart is calling yours [Psalm 42:7 “Deep calls to deep / in the roar of your waterfalls”]
Come fall into my arms, You’re weary from it all, [Matt 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”]
Been running for too long [Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”]
I’m here to bring you home [John 14:2-3 “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”]
I’m reaching out [John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – One of my favorite paintings is on the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. I got to see it in person, during passion week of the year 2000 and I was spellbound. Of course I knew the painting well, and so do you. It’s the most famous image in the chapel and one of the most famous religious paintings of all time. It is Adam reclining on a cloud with his hand somewhat limp and barely extended in God’s direction while God, perched on a separate cloud, is leaning forward, almost precariously, with arm fully outstretched reaching with all his might to touch Adam.]
I’ll chase you down [Psalm 139:7-8 “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” // Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” // Luke 15:4-6 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” // Luke 15:8-10 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” // Luke 15:20 “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”]
I dare you to believe how much I love you now [I love this line! It’s like when God says “test me and see if I won’t throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it (Malachi 3:10). Perhaps the most astonishing, incredible verse in all of scripture, perhaps the very heart of the gospel, perhaps the verse that shouts the loudest of God’s love: Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”]
Don’t be afraid, I am your strength [Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” // Isaiah 12:2 “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”]
We’ll be walking on the water, Dancing on the waves [What if it had been you, instead of Peter, whom Jesus invited out of the boat to walk on water? It could still be! Can you imagine being in the presence of Christ and having him invite you out onto the water to experience something miraculous that defies the laws of physics, something that could only happen by the power of the creator-God himself? What will that be like, when you ARE in the presence of Jesus himself?! Can you imagine?! I’ll bet it will bring a smile to HIS face, too, to see you boldly stepping out in faith to experience His miraculous power and to worship His majesty.]
Look up and lift your eyes [Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”]
The future’s open wide, I have great plans for you, [Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” // Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”]
Your past is dead and gone [2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”]
Your healing has begun [Psalm 103:2-3 “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,” // Exodus 15:26 “I, the Lord, am your healer.” // Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”]
I’m making all things new [Revelation 21:4-5 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”]
I set every star into place [Psalm 147:4 “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” // Psalm 40:26 “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.” // Nehemiah 9:6 “You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host” // Isaiah 45:12 “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their host.”]
So you would remember my name
I made it all for you [This line is somewhat theologically questionable. Did God create everything for the benefit of mankind? I suppose an argument could be made, after all God give dominion to mankind over all the creatures of the earth (Gen. 1:26-28), but I believe it’s more theologically accurate and in tune with the breadth of scripture to say that God created because it is in His nature to do so. In a sense, He couldn’t NOT create. He wouldn’t be a creator-God if He didn’t create. And I believe it brings God joy to fulfill his character, so it might be more accurate to say that God created for his own sake, not for ours. However, this line could be interpreted to simply mean that God offers to us the beauty of His creation to enjoy, as in “I made it all, I made all of this…for you to enjoy – I want you to enjoy my creation, go ahead and adore the beauty and functionality and artistry of my creation, I want you to experience and enjoy it!”]
You are my masterpiece [Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” — the last piece of God’s creation, the crowning glory of his work into which he literally poured himself, we are his magnum opus.]
You are the reason I sing, this is my song for you [Perhaps better than any other verse, this passage displays the joy that we as humans, his ultimate creation, bring to our creator — Zephaniah 3:17-18 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”]
And here is an alternate studio recording that features Frannie singing a beautiful “ad lib” at minute 2:30: