June 08, 2014

The Depths of God

"When you can't touch bottom, you touch the depths of God" - Ann Voskamp

I've spent a lot of the last five years treading water. Who am I kidding? I feel like the majority of my life has been spent treading water. Whether it was trying to muddle my way through college into a life calling that seemed impossible to my deception-addled brain, or simply trying to stay afloat amidst barrenness, juxtaposed with an undeniable desire for children, or long seasons of hard work doing things I don't like to do, and that I'm not necessarily good at...

I can't quite say that my feet have touched bottom at all in the last five years. I can't say that there haven't been times where all I wanted to do was stop treading... stop moving... stop hoping.

In my perception, what happens when my feet don't touch bottom is that I am losing control. I am going to drown and die, and all this treading water will have been in vain, because I will never have reached my destination, or worse, I will die, when I know-- I know-- that God had the power to rescue me from drowning.

What's really going on in those moments, when I'm about ready to stop treading water. When my feet can't touch bottom, and I panic because I can't get them planted firmly on solid ground. When instead of swimming, I'm flailing and losing it. What's really going on is I'm learning the depths of God. I'm experiencing the part of His Spirit that takes over when I can't do anymore. I'm learning that in the absence of my ability, His is all consuming. I will not die before reaching my destination, because this process of treading and treading is exactly where I am meant to be. I will not die without rescue, because daily, I am rescued from my own panic and fear.

"Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God..." 1 Corinthians 2:10

If it is the Holy Spirit that searches the depths of God, then I have nothing to fear. When I panic, when I lose hope, when I run out of words to pray or even scream at the heart of God, I have nothing to fear, because it is this same Spirit that both searches the depths of God ans intercedes on my behalf with prayers that are too deep for words... prayers that are straight from-- and to-- the depths of God.

"And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words." - Romans 8:26

On Aprils

Ten years ago, I sat in the dining hall of a Christian camp. A man my father's age sat with me. It was April, and I had no idea... I had...