When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. (Isaiah 43:2 NLT)
Deep water. That is where life finds me now. No land in sight. My feet can’t touch the bottom. Exhilarating, scary, and yet beautiful.
Everything is in motion around me like the deep ocean waves in this season. Nothing is certain, not even the colour as the water goes from dark blue-black in the shadows to brilliant hues of aqua and sky blue in the sunshine.
The little boat of my life bobs along, sometimes rising high, sometimes in the deep valleys between waves when the storms roll in. In an instant, jobs become uncertain, friends disappoint. Sickness impedes and the shoreline of success is as invisible as the shore. It can be so tempting just to say “I guess I didn’t hear God after all” and give up on those big dreams.
My husband and I planted a new church this past June. During the first round of COVID. We gave up jobs, left friends and family, and moved to a new city at God’s call. Some days there are challenges as big as ocean waves on every side and I hear my enemy whisper the same question he posed to Eve, “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1 NLT).
Yes. Yes. Yes. God DID say to leave the comfort of the shallows and head out into the deeper water. But when the weight of the dreams and goals I have gets heavy, Jesus reaches out His hand and catches me, steadying my little boat. He is the faithful keeper of the promise made in Isaiah 42.
Matthew 14 tells recounts the disciples’ experience of being in deep water, terrified by the storm that raged around them. Many were fishermen, so it would take quite a storm to frighten them. In the tempest, Jesus came to them and told them “Be brave and don’t be afraid. I am here!” (Matt. 14:17 TPT).
Just remembering that He is with us brings us back to where we need to be – focused and dependent on Him. It was only when Peter’s eyes went back to the waves (verse 30) he began to sink.
I am in a place of complete dependence on God, and I know that is just where He longs for His children to settle. I’m not perfect, and still have times of tears and anxiety, but I am learning literally day by day that when I can’t work enough, love enough or plan enough in my own strength and I stop fighting His guiding current, His strength and provision show themselves mightily. Jesus gets the glory and the praise – opening the hearts and eyes of others as we share all He has done.
Maybe you find yourself in deep water now. Separation from family, illness, unrest, financial strain, career uncertainty as a myriad of waves may surround you. Being fully dependent on God for all of these things, especially when you have no idea what to do, puts you in the current of His power and love and you will safely reach the shores of your destination. You will add faith to faith as you navigate and this is a precious treasure not just for you, but for those around you who are floundering in the sea. You will not just survive, you will THRIVE!
Stormy days will still come, but so will warm sunny mornings and peace can be found in every one of them as we chart the course by His word, good teaching under your pastor shepherd and time at His feet in prayer and praise.
Deep water life. It’s where faith is built and lives are changed. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.