Going Deeper

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Several years ago our family was blessed with the opportunity to vacation in Hawaii. We enjoyed this time away from the hustle and bustle of home, relaxing in the peaceful atmosphere of the island. One of the things that I truly enjoyed was to swim in the warm waters of the tropical Pacific. I had never snorkeled before and was excited to try it. But, as I first entered the water leaving the safety of the shore, I felt some apprehension. What was awaiting me beneath the waves? Were there dangers in the area of which the other swimmers were unaware? My excitement, however, outweighed my fear and I continued in.

As I swam across Honolua Bay on the island of Maui, I carefully dipped my face in the water to view the scene below me. Wonder and amazement filled me as I witnessed the activity beneath the surface. There were hundreds of colorful fish darting in and out between the coral only yards below me. Some were playfully chasing each other while others were simply going about their daily business. The size of the fish also surprised me. I had expected to see tiny, 2-3 inch fish such as the ones in the aquariums in pet stores. But no! The fish I saw were several pounds each. There were Yellow Tangs, Brown Chubs, Angel Fish, Trigger Fish, (known by the Hawaiians as the "humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa") and more. They were all so beautiful that I wanted to get closer. I held my breath and dove deeper. To my amazement, the underwater world I had been watching from above seemed totally changed from my new location. Rather than being an observer on the surface, I was part of this underwater world. The fish swam all around me, seemingly unafraid of this foreign intruder. From my new vantage point, I could see areas that had been hidden before. A striped eel peeked its head out from between some rocks and a sea turtle gracefully sailed by me. I remember thanking God at that moment for allowing me to share in that part of His creation. Later, reflecting on all I had seen and done, I was also thankful that I had taken that first step off the shore, and even more, I was thankful that I dove below the surface.

So often in life we are content with being observers. We feel comfortable in the perceived security of our world and of what is familiar. We fear the unknown and all that comes with it. But, if we never take that step of faith, we will never experience all the blessings that God has waiting for us, and His plan for us will not be lived out. I love the quote that says, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for” (William Thayer Shedd). God created us to have a relationship with Him and to show His glory. Why then, do we not trust that He will enable us to do all He says? “So don't be afraid: I'm with you… every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.” Isaiah 43:6-7

I feel like I have been floating on the surface of what God has waiting for me for far too long. I don’t want to miss what He has planned for me. As I enter this stage of my life, I am no longer content to merely be an observer of the faith. It is my desire to go deeper with Him. I long to be part of what He has planned, not simply to watch it from a “safe” distance or view His plan from the surface. I want to step out in faith and draw closer to Him, knowing that as I do so, He will be with me. “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (James 4:8). I pray that God grants me the courage to fulfill this longing.

Over the next few months, please join me in this endeavor to draw closer to God. I will be posting entries every week or so as I continue on this journey to“Live by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Together let’s discover what He made us for and step by step, go deeper with Him.

Going deeper,

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17 comments

  1. Joan - I feel the same way as you. I am no longer content to "skim the surface". I want to get out of the boat and walk fully and completely in faith and in the life God has planned for me. I join you in this journey.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  2. I began a 21 day "First Commandment" fast today with my church. It's all about getting closer to God. I don't just want to know about Him, I must know HIM, the man, Christ Jesus. So thankful you are taking this journey as well.

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  3. Joan, I so needed to read this!!! I a little unraveled this year, not sure why. I feel in a holding pattern right now. I will make sure to join you, stepping out in faith!

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  4. I totally identify with your words here, Joan. I so want to follow the Lord this year - in WORD and ACTION! I want to KNOW Him more fully, more intimately - and I want to step out in faith.

    No more bench-warming for me!!

    GOD BLESS!

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  5. I was RIGHT THERE with you. You transported me to those waters off the Maui shore. My parents are there now, as they are every January. And when we visit them, we love to say this word over and over again:

    humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa

    :-)

    This is a great analogy for going deeper with Christ. God bless you as you seek Him more! I'm diving in, too!

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  6. Great analogy. All the good stuff is deep!

    Could you drop me a note along with this blog name? i have a question.

    David Rupert, Editor, High Calling Newsletter

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  7. Joan... this post is so beautifully relevant to my life right now. 5 months ago, I had a choice to make... to stay fixed on the surface of my understanding or to dive deep with God and allow him, over time, to reveal the beautiful depths of "my below." I finished my chemo today, and the beauty I have witnessed in the deep recesses of my testing has far outweighed the safety of the shore. I will never be the same; cancer has been my gift. It has changed me forever.

    Keep to the deep, sweet one, and see what our Father longs to reveal to you. It's going to be difficult at times, only to be outweighed by God's amazing.

    peace~elaine

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  8. Hi Joan,
    Wonderful words with timely insight for ALL of GOD's children...thank you!
    I pray that my attitude will be more open and expectant as we have been "ripped away" from the shoreline. My Hubby and I must go deeper with GOD to find His blessing and bring Him Glory.
    Happy Diving!

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  9. Your post took me right back to the time I was privileged to snorkel in Hawaii, almost twenty years ago. Thanks for the memories, and the nudge to pursue the deeper things of God.

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  10. So glad I found your blog! I'll be stopping by more often to be encouraged in my faith! I will DEFINITELY join you in pursuit of God! My "word" for the new year is "relentless." I want to be relentless in my pursuit of Him.
    Blessings!
    Cherie

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  11. ★WALK BY FAITH★NOT BY SIGHT★
    (My facebook status~thought it was no cooincidence!)
    Glad to meet you, and tweet w/ you.
    Looking for greater glimpses of God's beauty too!

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  12. What an inspiring post, Joan...so glad I stopped by today...I haven't been in blog land much these last few months and have missed your words...love the new look, too!

    Thank you for the kind comment on my blog...

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  13. I'll be featuring this on Feb 3 at www.TheHighCalling.org as one of the best posts of the month from around the network. Keep writing!

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  14. I can see why David chose your post as one of the best posts of the month from around the High Calling network. Go deep with Christ. Blessings and All the Best.

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  15. Several years ago my brother-in-law noticed I was reading a book called "Into the Depths of God." I hadn't gotten too far in the book.

    "How's the book?" he asked. "Are you 'into the depths' of God?"

    "Oh, I'm not very far into the book, so I guess I'm just wading around in the shallows for now."

    I don't want to wade in the shallows; I want to behold the beauty of the Lord, and that's best done in scuba gear.

    Glad you were highlighted at TheHighCalling.org today!

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  16. Joan! I've already commented on this post, but had to come back to say CONGRATULATIONS! It was so cool to see you featured at The High Calling today. Your voice and insights are appreciated in the network! You honor Him well!

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  17. Wow - this is so worth reading. I have never snorkeled, and I seriously have no desire to - but suddenly, I wonder if I could...

    Your heart to know more, to go deeper - you speak into my own restless heart. I love invitations like this...

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