Ever since I wrote my crazy scuba diving metaphor of
this thought is constantly surfacing in my mind:
If you want to go deeper with God in your relationship, then you must be willing to go down into deep waters.
None of us like times of heartache, discouragement, or loneliness. However, we cannot escape the fact that we will have them in this fallen world. Even Jesus said so (Jn 16:33). However, I believe God wants to use these times to bring us closer to Him.
Deep waters can be a special experience with God
Some of you know what I mean and would say that it was during those very difficult times that you experienced the Lord like never before, and grew the most spiritually.
I’ve been a widow now for over 9 years and although I would never want to relive that first year without my soulmate, the sweetness and intimacy with my Comforter has been unmatched.
Oh, I’ve had many other down times (that comes with the territory of being an emotional yo-yo), and have experienced sweet intimacy with my God, but that time as a new widow was EXTRA special. His grace filled me in a way that I needed at that time.
Each difficult situation is different and our Lord is able to meet that specific need in a special way.
Deep waters can be faith-building
Looking back in how God rescued me from drowning in my circumstances has buoyed my faith. Going down memory lane with my Savior has greatly enabled me to experience God on a deeper level.
His faithfulness gives us reassurance that we’ll be able to endure the next inevitable encounter with the depths of pain. We can know He will be with us—close and at hand. A very present help in trouble (Ps 46:1).
Deep waters can help us understand our Savior better
Jesus experienced all the heartache any person has and way more.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (Heb 4:15)
Most of us realize that Jesus can sympathize with us—but have you ever placed yourself in His shoes?
Back in 2008 I had a friend who betrayed me. The pain was excruciating! I remember asking, “Is this how you felt, Jesus, when Judas betrayed you; when the other disciples ran? Is this how you feel now when people turn their backs on You?”
By trying to identify with Christ’s suffering, I tasted a small amount of the anguish He endured for me. It drew me even closer to Him and empowered me to forgive. I think that’s what Paul meant when he said:
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings…. (Phil 3:10, emphasis added)
When two friends share the same pain and comfort each other, a special bond is formed between them. A similar type of bond can occur as we imagine the pain Christ went through.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Heb 12:4).
Don’t fight against God. Accept the weight that brought you down into deep waters; don’t try to resurface too quickly. It might not be fatal as air embolism would be in scuba diving, but you will lose out on:
- A special intimacy with Him
- Spiritual growth
- Impact for His Kingdom
- Present and future rewards
- The abundant life
Instead you will have a life filled with regret.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:11, emphasis added)
Cooperate with Him—it’s His way of bringing you closer to Him. He’ll be worth it!
In case you missed it here are some other resources on how to go deeper with God:
Scripture taken from New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.