Living in Florida, and loving to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy “beach life,” I’ve always had a keen awareness of how important it is to know about water safety. When my daughter was just a toddler, we (by we, I am referring to my mother, my sister, and I) all signed up for a “Mommy and Me” swim class that quickly turned into a, “Mommy, Nana, Aunt T-Dee and Me” swim class! We were all ever so careful and watchful of my daughter while in the water. Everyone wanted to be extra attentive to her in this kind of environment.
Even in our own backyard pool, I’ve countless times said to my daughter, “Never go deeper than your feet can touch and you’re able to stand up!” Because of my own childhood experience (which by the way, could have had a different outcome), I understand firsthand just what it means to literally be “in over your head” when it comes to being in the water. Although my family and I enjoy our moments of being near and in water, at the same time, we remain vigilant and cautious, with a strong grasp on the reality that even still waters can run deep.
There is something mysterious and intriguing about being surrounded by water. I’ve never had a more vivid picture of this than while on a vacation cruise. When you wake up to nothing but water as far as the eye can see, you gain a sobering awareness of how vast and all-consuming the ocean truly is. There is life beneath the surface of the ocean that often only the fearlessly brave dare to explore. We call these people divers.
Can I be honest? I’m not the strongest swimmer and am also a little intimidated by the power and strength oceans display. With that said, I’d probably never muster the courage to put on a wet suit and go scuba diving…and I’m okay with that. But when it comes to the things of God, well, that’s a totally different story. The worshiping warrior on the inside of me always seems to arise, not allowing me to shrink back from anything new, different, or even possibly challenging as it relates to my pursuit of the presence of God.
You may be wondering, “What exactly does all of this have to do with worship?” EVERYTHING my friend! You see, often times God gives us a natural picture to better understand a spiritual principle. In Psalm 42:7, the psalmist records, “Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.” When we take a DEEPER look into the text we will find beautiful poetic symbolism that illustrates how oceans of sorrow can become the very waves and billows that produce within us a longing to know God in a deep and more meaningful way. It also beckons us to trust even the process of our deep-water experiences, and remain in hope of experiencing a new revelation of His glory.
From its Hebrew origin, the word deep is teh-home', meaning an abyss (as a surging mass of water); especially the deep (the main sea or the subterranean water supply); deep (place); depth.
To the original audience, the Israelites, the psalmist explains that they were dealing with affliction comparable to the deep waters of the ocean. How overwhelming it must have been to encounter one trial after another. Can you relate? Sometimes it seems so hard to go deeper in God when you feel overtaken by the trails of life. Yet, we must choose to see the depth of our troubles as the very catalyst to the depth of experiencing God in greater intimacy. Even in what may feel like the eye of the storm, God yet wants us to deeply abide with Him.
Like the ocean, the presence of God is vast and all-consuming. It is mysterious, intriguing, and maybe even a little intimidating at times. But most of all, it is inviting! God is inviting all of us to become scuba divers who will dare to dive deep and be overtaken by a deluge of his glory! This requires complete confidence in Him and faith-filled action to trust him in unprecedented ways.