1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?...
7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
Psalms 42:1-2, 7-8 NASB
The Shallows and the Deep
Our family enjoys vacationing at the beach due in no small part to the fact that we simply appreciate the grandeur of the surroundings. The ocean always seems so endless with wave after wave crashing against the shore. The sandy ground is such a great place for a person to experience the ocean; the shallow water allowing its visitors to take a step into the foamy surf without too much to fear. Wading through those shallows, I can clearly see the bottom; the sand disturbed by my feet, creating a cloud as I walk. I can see the fish and the shells, and the occasional rock or sea algae. It is easy to keep sight of my surroundings, and I do not require any assistance to keep from drowning; I am content in the shallows. And although on the surface the shallows seem like they would be satisfying, there is one dilemma; I am not yet fully submerged.
An interesting dichotomy that I have come to understand is that the shallows of the water only stretch so far; they are limited. But the depths, they are altogether different for they are vast and limitless.
Yes, the depths are full of mystery. Undercurrents move through the water like the wind on dry land, carrying along anything caught in its path. The depths are dark and expansive, full of wonder and life and although man continues to explore, it holds many creatures which have yet to be discovered. In addition, not just anyone can explore these wondrous areas of our planet. A person must have access to highly specialized equipment, made for just that purpose.
The Depths of My Soul
There is a continued yearning in my heart for the things of God. It never goes away; it is constant. For a number of years now, I have been at a point in my life where I see Him in everything, everywhere. As the deer pants for water, so my soul longs...
There are depths in my soul of which I do not understand just as there are so many complexities in our universe which I do not understand. Oh, how endless are the fathoms of our world and the reaching of my spirit. I see, I taste, I touch, but I do not really, truly know. The whole of man can fully understand so little in our world. Yet, I am amazed at how we seemingly think that we understand it all.
I always love visiting the planetarium at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The presentations do such an amazing job at showing how incredibly vast our universe really is and how infinitesimally small we really are. And every time I visit, I cannot help but be amazed to think how God holds the vastness of all things, in the palms of His extraordinarily capable hands. It is something my mind cannot truly comprehend.
It is also incredible to think how I am created in the image of my God (Genesis 1:27). Yet, if I am made in His image, does it not give me pause to consider that I am more than just fingers and toes, smells and tastes, sights and sounds? I also have a spirit that was intricately knit together in a way so as to represent the image of the Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:7). I take that too lightly, too often...
The Depths of His Spirit
Just like the endless fathoms of the ocean, the depths of my God know no end. How deep is His love for us that while we were yet still sinners, He would give of Himself as He did? Surely the heart of God must hold such rich treasures for His people, if only I will pursue Him. He is the author of all life and His wisdom and understanding are boundless. He has created all things yet He Himself is un-created.
Oh, how the depths of our Creator long to be explored by those He cherishes; by those He loves!
Yes, at first all of us are drawn into the shallows of our faith. And on the surface, for a while, everything seems fine; we become content in the shallows. We like the water only ankle deep because it is easy. In the shallows we have control; we can see the fish and the seashells, and we like it. In the shallows we have no need to learn to swim and if things start to get a little scary...well, we just get out of the water for a little while until everything settles back down.
But deep down in our heart of hearts, in the depths of our souls, we know there is more. We hear His voice calling to us to truly lay our lives in His hands and to surrender. In my heart, I know He wants more of me and He wants to show me more of who He is. As deep calls to deep, the Spirit of my God calls to the innermost parts of my soul, beckoning me to come. He calls me to the depths of His mercy, to the riches of His goodness, to the place where I am nothing and He is everything.
But not just anyone is able to intimately know the depths of my God. Only those who have been born again of His Spirit may ever hear His voice. Only His sheep can ever venture into the vast riches of His glory and experience the true peace that passes all understanding.
I have His favor; I have His Spirit inside of me. Why would I ever become satisfied in the ankle-deep shallows of my faith when I know He is lovingly, drawing me in to a deeper walk with Him? I pray that today I will shrug off any complacent attitude I may have towards my relationship with my God, and that I would dive headfirst into the uncharted depths of His mercy and love.
Oh, that my soul would only find rest when it is found in Him.