That’s Where I Want To Be…
People are sensory creatures, experiencing so much of life by touch, sound, taste, smell and sight. So, I suppose it’s not that surprising that just “knowing” God sometimes seems to feel not enough to me. I wish I could have been alive in those 33 years Jesus physically existed on this Earth, looked into His eyes, felt His arm around my shoulder. In a way, God can be like the air to me at times… essential for life, always around me, yet more assumed than known and appreciated. I can easily “forget” about Him though without Him I would not live.
Is it more helpful to compare God’s presence to water? Water has more weight on our skin. We don’t and mustn’t forget we are in it! It takes some risk and lots of effort to become comfortable in the water. Few of us naturally swim without help. Some people plain and simply refuse to even get into anything but a tub. If we want to experience water, and God Himself fully, it takes training, practice, persistence and lots and lots of trust.
Once we accept Christ as our Savior, we do get to increasingly enjoy His presence. But, it’s quite a switch and we need to learn to live in this new environment. If we are wise, we will choose to grow and learn who God is. Water is beautiful and gentle, but as we know, it can be extremely powerful and can wear down even the strongest elements.
If only we could swim in this water always, we think.
God says, you can! You can know me as much as you seek me. You can just dip your toes in or you can dive in and trust that I will adapt you into a water creature, able to survive far beneath the surface. Some pretty major changes need to be made. Our skin is too frail, our lungs unable to breathe oxygen in water, our arms and legs very inefficient in getting us around. God reforms our respiratory system and physiology so we are able to always remain in the water.
We can’t be both water and land creatures, though, not really. If we make that decision to really know and rely on God, accept His salvation, we have to agree, I’m done with my land life days. There’s a sort of goodbye we need to make as time goes by. Sure, we can get in and out for a while, but once He transforms our lungs and makes us capable of breathing through water, that’s that. We hear the “fish out of water” expression, well, that’s us when we choose God over the world. We can only get to know Him so much with just our toes in.
The water is wonderful. I want to stay here permanently, and with His help, I know I can. It’s amazing to find we can sense God’s presence better. Like a person newly learning to read Braille with calloused, rough fingertips, it’s a slow process. But it’s just the start of an eternity of getting to know our amazing God, infinitely beautiful, wise and loving. He reveals His beauty for my spiritual eyes to see. Down here I do hear His gentle but firm voice.
There is some uncomfortableness living in the water, and perhaps there always will be? Adam and Eve would have begun life in that water as “ocean dwellers”, but sin changed them into “land creatures”. Until heaven, everything about this world is transitory. We aren’t who we would have been, and it may be awhile before we are who we are going to be. But, Jesus made a way from our hopeless situation to eternity with our loving God. If that didn’t happen, God may as well have been sulfuric acid because He was unapproachable.
My fickle human heart doesn’t always help me. In rough times, I can suddenly remember my old life on land and it seems quite appealing. I have to trust God that this sudden need to get a gulp of air isn’t necessary. I have to trust that floating in the water to sleep is fine and I don’t need to get out and find my old comfy bed. It all comes back to trust.
Will you trust me, God asks? You are changed, a new creation. You are unable to live outside of me and this environment now. That’s right, I think…this is where I most want to be. There is no place better and I slowly sink into the depths.