Personal Growth

To Encourage Those in the Deep

Deep. Waters. Mourning. Hope.

These are words that I am mulling over this morning. Deep calls to deep.

“Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.” – Ps 42:7

Jesus is there in the deep. He calls me there to meet him and experience the deep things of him. The deep things he has for me. When I think of deep I think of dark. The deeper I go the darker it is. The grief surrounds me like the dark waters, I can barely take a breath beneath the weight of it all. But there, in the deep, dark waters, in that place I can barely breathe, is Jesus. He has been there, He is there. He doesn’t expect me to be there alone. I may not feel Him or see him, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t there. He is the same God that said to Joshua,

“I will not leave you nor forsake you.” – Josh. 1:5

How is that supposed to comfort me when all I can see and feel is the darkness? Honestly, sometimes, it doesn’t.

Sometimes I am so afraid.
I’m afraid that I won’t be enough. Or even worse, that HE won’t be enough.
That I won’t be able to reach my child who is also afraid.
I’m afraid of what is to come…so many unknowns.
I’m afraid of being afraid. So. Much. Fear. God is not the author of fear.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear
but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Tim. 1:7

The deepness of my fear is where God meets me. When I can’t find the surface, He comes down into the deep and sits with me as I grapple, as I mourn, as I cry. Why doesn’t he just take me to the surface for a breath? Why doesn’t he take this unbearable load from me? Why doesn’t he assure me that it will all be ok?

Because, I would remain unchanged.

I would stay the same, become complacent. Without exercise everything turns to jello, including my faith. My faith. The point of it all. God wants all of me, not just the parts I am willing to give. He wants me to go deep, straight to those things that I want control over. He wants me to bring them up and hand them over…

Even if one of those things is my pride.
Even if one of those things is my own child.
Even if one of those things is fear of the unknown.

He wants all of it. Sometimes we don’t even know everything that is down there in the deep. We stay on the surface enjoying the sun, the fresh air, the sounds of the ocean. But when life, and sometimes even our own self-pity, knocks us down into the deep, there is no sun, no air, no sound. It feels lonely and desperate.

But I am not alone. Jesus calls to me in the deep.

The work is being done. The letting go is taking place. As I open my fist that has held on too tightly, his scarred palm is there to take what is not mine to carry, and as he does I begin to hope. Hope in all He has already done. Hope in his plans for me. Plans that are good not evil.

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.” – Jer. 29:11

It takes time. The work is not done. Surrender is not easy until I realize His great love for me. There, in the deep, is where hope is birthed, and I slowly make progress, one open fist at a time. 

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