“Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known.” (Psalm 77:19)
Who wants to spend all their life landlocked? (I raise my hand) I think there is still more to learn from the sea, however. To what depths must we go in order to learn what God would have us know for our life and the lives of those we’re destined to affect? Theoretically, ideally, we should have obeyed and acknowledged God from the outset and allayed any untoward circumstances. But what about the causes that were out of our hands and before our time that we’re dealing with and struggling to overcome—as individuals, as a generation, a society? God loves us and consequently loves to “shew Himself strong” (2 Chronicles 16:9) through the circumstances and trials in which we find ourselves. What pressures must we experience in order to become adapted–acclimated–to the crushing realities of life without losing our head or imploding (figuratively)? Not a rhetorical question.
As children, all was light and joy. We splashed around on the shore. Even if we had abusive or neglectful (abuse by omission) parent(s), peace of mind and heart was easily found and maintained with whatever we found to occupy ourselves. (for more on this, read this) And as we grew up and the tide of responsibility flowed in, we were swept out to the sea of reality. Real quick, some free association. There’s a crater on the dark side of the moon called “Mare Ingenii” or, “The Sea of Ingenuity”. As the moon affects the tide, the opposite side is looking off into space. Into mystery. Back to Earth.
Not to brag, but on a certain strata of life, I didn’t even discover that there was such a thing as dry land until I was in my late teens. It was as if I had been awakened on the ocean floor where everything was pitch black and the pressure was impossible to overcome on my own. And ever since, I’ve been slowly surfacing–coming up for air. The keyword here is slowly. The body must compensate for the change in pressure as it rises, from diving, to the surface. Surfacing too fast causes decompression sickness, also known as “the bends”. I hear it’s not only excruciatingly painful–it’s also fatal. Take any fish that’s adapted for deepwater conditions up to the surface too quickly and it’ll explode. (Really? Wow!)
With a depth of eleven miles, the Mariana Trench is the deepest known point in the ocean. We couldn’t fathom (no pun intended) the pressure that all that water would bring to bear on us. Nor could we bear up against it. We weren’t designed to live eleven miles beneath the surface of the sea. By the same token, Jesus was so overburdened with the responsibility of giving up His life for the sin of the world that He “sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). This physiological response is wholly possible when the body is under severe stress. And He was holy, sinless. A moment of silence please. The blood He shed has made it possible for His Father to forgive sin–past, present, future–and heal our lives. And to bring us up to Him.
If, in any atmosphere of your daily life, you find that the pressure is too much to bear, take heart. God does not allow you to experience more than you can handle (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). The word “temptation” in the verse implies “adversity”. And if surfacing seems slow and it’s dark, know that God has reasons which, if we trust Him, He will reveal when we are able to wrap our minds around truths that are deeper than we are.
Hold on to God.