Under the squelching sun, I watched my three kiddos with popsicle-stained smiles giggle as they splashed in the water. It was the summer of 2015 and my very first summer spent on a lake. For my little ones, it was a fun new adventure. For me, it was a hurdle of enormous fear I had to get over. You see, for as long as I can remember I have been terrified of being in water when I cannot see the bottom. But in 2015 I found myself in a boat, looking into water that went down some 400 feet. It was deep water, but I finally made myself jump in and go under. And although from time to time I would feel my anxiety rise, I came to not only enjoy the lake - but I loved it. Something happened inside of me that summer that gave me a mysterious interest in deep water.
We all have moments in our past that are vividly real and, many times, remarkably painful. Maybe you know what it's like to begin a day carefree and comfortable, but within a few short minutes you find yourself facing a situation where your future is altered, your identity is challenged, and the foundations of everything you had ever believed is shaken to the very core. In 2016 I found myself in spiritually deep water where I was in over my head and gasping for breath. I couldn't eat, could barely sleep, and could hardly function for the overwhelming tidal waves of fear and panic. I hadn't jumped in to this. I had been thrown in, and all I could see was deep water with nothing to keep me afloat.....nothing except Jesus alone.
God's providence will never cease to amaze me because it was at exactly the right time when Psalm 107:23-24 leaped off the pages of my Bible. It says,
They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord,
and his wonders in the deep.
I am going to say something that will likely make you as uncomfortable as it makes me. Christians should thirst for deep waters. Oh friend, just as we are encouraged by Paul to get off of milk and start eating meat, God calls each of us to move beyond knee-deep water and go out into the depths of who He is and all He longs to show us.
The comfort of dry land is where our flesh wants to stay, but there's nothing wonderous about sitting back and enjoying the shore of worldly prosperity and comfort. When God's people refuse to be content with sips of His goodness and, instead, jump into the ocean of His grace with both feet, those are the people who are given the blessing of seeing His wonders in the deep.
Oh let us be unafraid to go down into the sea of every kind of crisis and not simply be in the depths of darkness, but do business there! This sin-cursed world is jam packed with currents that suck us into its grip only to push us under until we're choking for air. If your child has rebelled from God, you are in deep water. If your husband has betrayed you and left you for another, you're in deep water. If your body has been ravaged with disease, if your finances have crumbled, if your friends have all left you, if your family and your future has been ripped apart, you are in deep water. But friend, as dark as that place is, where fear is so real it is physically painful, we must do business there! Let us be women of valiant courage, letting go of our fears and plunging into the ocean of God's grace. Let us be women who continually cry out for more, more, more of Jesus! Jeremiah 29:11 promises that His plans for us are for peace and hope. Even when we are up to our necks in uncertainty and even loss, we can rest in that truth and allow heaven's current to pull us further from the shoreline with the assurance that we will not sink.
Let us be deep sea goers who purposefully and relentlessly pursue the treasure of Jesus Christ Himself. It is those who are full of faith, those who will dive into the great waters of conflict, adversity, and affliction that are given a promise that they will see His wonders. I don't know about you, but I want to see His wonders.
Meet me in the deep....