I stood on the shore for too many years.
It was safe there, I thought. Knowable. It may not have been as exciting or refreshing as the water, but there were interesting things there, things enough to keep my attention.
I could lie on the endless sandy beach, sand molding around the contours of my body, heat soaking into my skin, listening to the chatter of the seagulls and the whisper of the wind in the sea grass that gathered in groupings along the edges of the dunes. And when that became too uncomfortable or monotonous, I could spend considerable time looking down at the stones that gathered at the water’s edge, sometimes I would even find a hidden gem of sea glass.
But, the shore wasn’t the water. There was no power in the sand, nothing to really refresh my sun baked soul.
Eventually with some prodding of fellow beach goers, I decided to do some wading. After my long stint in the dry, life sucking sand, where growth is near to impossible, the water that lapped at my knees felt glorious. Here was refreshment. My spirit was no longer parched, still dry, but the deep fissures where healing.
I spent a couple years just wading, drinking in the gorgeous blue sky, reveling in the feel of the cool water that wasn’t too demanding, bracing myself or even backing toward the shore when the breakers came in high and fast. Digging my toes in the soft water logged sand resisting the under tow that threatened to take me out over my head. I liked it here. It wasn’t too bad. Most of the time it was good, refreshing, and manageable.
But, I was still dry and I watched as others picked up there feet, some running out over their heads. Others floating on their backs, drifting farther and farther away from shore. Some diving in head first with an abandon that I figured I would never understand.
Me, well I wasn’t too sure that sort of thing was safe. There didn’t seem to be a lot of control to be had by going out over one’s head.
The dryness, though, it tugged at me. It soon became unbearable. I wasn’t content to just wade in up to my knees, keeping shore in my line of vision. There was a pull on my soul to just let go, to uncurl my toes, to let go of my increasingly tiresome anchor.
I needed more. More wind, more water, more power. I needed to get in over my head.
Yet, I was afraid; always afraid of the undertow and the unknown. What if I got in over my head and couldn’t breathe? What if I couldn’t get back to the shore, to what I knew and was comfortable with? What if I became entangled in long strands of seaweed that confused and captured?
And then, without a conscious awareness it was upon me. A wave, rolling, crashing, roiling, foaming. My toes uncurled, hands lifted high, I let myself go.
I was pulled under, but not afraid. The undertow I had feared was a rushing power, but without the darkness or pressure or lack of oxygen. It wasn’t life sucking, it was life giving.
It was glorious! Water rushed in and softened every part of me that was cracked and crumbling. I was surrounded. Years of spiritual barrenness were restored. Every single inch was touched and renewed. I was no longer clambering for the safety of the shore. I was in over my head.
And I wasn’t afraid.
Here with the Holy Spirit I was far out beyond reason. In over my head. I was no longer able to point to my knowledge as to how or why or for what purpose. I was too far gone. It was beyond reasoning. It was by faith, that I had come to deep waters.
And what I had thought would be suffocating was in all actuality, liberating. Out in the open wide spaces there was freedom. No longer did I need to grasp for the bottom. Here there was hope. Out in the grand expanse, my sight was not hindered. I could see His glory. I could feel His love. I experienced His power.
And in the deepness of His love, I found Him calling me.
Calling me deeper. Deeper into this relationship with Him, full communion. Deeper into sharing what I have learned about Him. Deeper into His power, and glory, and might.
I’m in awe!
The shore is out of sight. This deepness is just the beginning. There are many fathoms He wants to take me through. I’m no longer on the shore, it’s gone, far beyond my vision. I’m done with wading. I’ve even given up doggy paddling.
I’m diving deep.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:7-8