Wednesday, July 26, 2017

on sunfish and scary places...

Confession: deep water scares me.

I specifically remember jumping off the side of a boat out at Folsom Lake when I was in high school and swimming frantically back to the boat for fear of what was in the water with me. And I didn't jump back in again. I stayed on the boat, where I thought I was safe and known. Fear does that, it scares us out of the good things. 

This week a large species of sunfish was found off the coast of Portugal. And listen, before you think I am some fish connoisseur, let me assure you I'm not, I just like to keep up with current events, especially ones that are fun and completely unrelated to The White House. Divers discovered this massive sunfish; you can watch the video hereIt's amazing to think about how there are fish we have never seen down in those deep waters; big fish and small fish, glow-in-the-dark fish and black fish, ugly fish and beautiful fish. Just because we can't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there. 

I can't help but think about how my heart kind of feels like that deep, dark water sometimes. There are places where I am willing to go and places where I am scared of diving in for fear of what might be there. Proverbs 20:5 says that "a purpose in the heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out..." This verse has been an anthem of prayer over the past few weeks. A man of understanding is willing to dive into the depths of his own heart, to seek wisdom and self-awareness, to see what might be living down in the deep. I want that for myself.
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       "A man of understanding is willing to dive into the depths of his own heart..."
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Now more than ever, I'm experiencing the vastness of my own heart. The waters are deep and the waves are tumultuous, and at times, completely overwhelming. There are feelings and thoughts and prayers that are completely new territory, and I feel like a diver discovering new fish; some are scary, some are beautiful, some are ugly. But the deeper I dive and the darker it becomes, the more opportunity I have to reach those places with light and truth. There are deep places of hope, insecurity, desire, grief, and brokenness. That's a lot to discover, a lot of tension to live in.

Some days, I am tempted to stay in the shallow areas and I am sure you are too, where we can see clearly, where we don't have to do any hard work, where we can wade around in clear, crystal, seemingly perfect moments. Shallow water allows us to see with ease, but there is something beautiful about the depths; they can be scary and at times hurt like hell, but the beauty of discovering God in those places... it's worth itWe discover Jesus as the Sustainer, the Comforter, the Great Planner and Protector, as the Great Foundation, the Grace-Giver, and the Quick-to-Compassion God. We discover that we're extremely complex, full of feelings and experiences and tensions. We discover that God is God, we are human, and that's how it should be. We discover that it's okay to feel simultaneously, to grieve and to celebrate.

May we not be too scared to miss out on the scary-good things at the bottom of our hearts. I don't want fear to be the boss of me and scare me out of the the heart work, out of the good places, like it did that day on the lake. I want to dive deep and discover both the ugly and the beautiful, so that Jesus may have His way within me.

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