I have often been deeply moved in prayer by something to the theme of water. Today I had this neat image come to me, and I hope that someone can find courage from it the way I did.
Imagine that God is like water. When I first learn about Him I am put in a bathtub or a little kid’s swimming pool. I can learn the very basic truth and beauty about Him there. I might see bigger swimming pools and even ponds, creeks, lakes, and rivers, and it’s so exciting–but there’s only so far I can go with these things.
Enter the Holy Spirit!
I see the ocean for the first time. I’m on the beach and it is so enthralling and beautiful and peaceful and invigorating. I get more and more of this as I stick my toes in, as I proceed to plunge into the waves. It is exciting and irresistible.
I want more. I swim out farther and farther, spending all my energies on progressing farther into the sea of God’s love. Yes, farther–but have I yet gone deeper?
There are many perils at sea, many storms. Swimming on the surface, I can be completely overwhelmed by the towering waves caused by the tempests; the lightning and pelting rain petrify me. I am trying with all my own might to hold myself up, to stay near the things I deem comfortable and secure–the sun, the shore. I have forgotten the strength of the water around me–the strength of God and His love for me. Finally I am driven down because I have no more strength, and suddenly I find myself in utter darkness. The excitement is gone. Only fear remains. I am swirling in heavy, dark, depressing oblivion.
Until I realize that I am surrounded by, even immersed in, God–I have only to recognize it, to choose and acknowledge it to start leaning on Him. It may seem hopeless, but I have gone deeper–I am growing so long as I choose to accept that this is where I am now, He is with me, and I must persevere in choosing Him. When I do I will realize that I am so deeply intimate with Him.
Down here it is not always exciting and sunny like it was when I first plunged in. There is more pressure from my struggles. There are sharks looming in unknown places around me. But there are many beautiful things too–coral reefs and dolphins which I learn to cherish more than ever. And ultimately, the whole time, God enfolds me completely.
Let us take comfort in resting in Him in whatever part of that sea we find ourselves.