Deep Calls to Deep

188772_1631520031209_5200802_nDeep calls out to deep ..all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Psalms 42:7
What is it about water that draws me? The sound of the waves rolling ashore? The crashing of the water on the banks when a strong waves rolls in? The Bible has a lot of references to water. Jesus walked on the water. He even bid Peter to come to him on the water. He calmed the storm, and the sea and wind obeyed Him.. Matthew 14 tells the story.

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land,c beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”28And Peter answered him,“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on 425504_529386667071865_1504045061_nthe water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

There is a song “Not as Strong as We Think We Are” and there is a verse that goes
When you love you walk on the water
Just don’t stumble on the waves
We all want to go there somethin awful
But to stand there it takes some grace” – Rich Mullins

tumblr_metgdu0jBO1rxhzzpo1_1280I think we, like Peter, want to get out of the norm, away from what we are doing to go do that which God is calling us to do.. Or To be, which is with Him. To be Loved.
   What do you think it was like for Peter? It wasn’t day, it was night. The waves were crashing hard. It actually says the boat was being “beaten” by the waves. And Jesus comes walking on the water with all this and Peter does what any normal person would do, he asks “If it is you Lord, let me come.” What would posses a person to get out of a boat during a storm? What would make someone climb out of a boat to what looks like a Ghost walking on the water at night?
    Maybe, I don’t know, but maybe Peter was longing for something.. Maybe he was searching for an experience. Maybe he was wanting acceptance. Belonging.. Purpose. A higher calling.. Maybe we are a lot like Peter. Just maybe we feel we are made for something different than to just sit on the banks dipping our feet into the water. There is a longing that even wading in the water isn’t satisfying. Maybe we are even more daring and wanting to get into the boat and push away from the shore. Maybe the Deep is calling us. We are searching… Searching for the next thing, our purpose. Our Calling.. To be loved.
   This is true even in my pursuit of God. I believe I am called to do something. Something with in me is a 1004748_3239923215148_1553299472_nwanting, a wanting to get off the shore of just existing and onto the waters of God’s purpose and plan. I want to set my boat in the direction of eternity. I need Fulfillment. Purpose. Love. “The Deep calls out to the Deep,” and deep inside of me there is a hunger, a longing to be apart of something greater. God calls us out, and bids us to come. His love is there. This is why I believe Paul Wrote, “The height, depth, and breath of the love of God.” Solomon wrote about His love, “Your waves have swept over me.. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.” (Song of Solomon 8:7)This love is what some have called the “reckless raging fury, we call the love of God.” It is scary. How deep is it? Will the boat stay afloat? How big will the waves really get?
We all want to go there somethin awful, but to stand there takes some grace.”
   It is on the waters that we feel the fury of the wind. It is sometimes in the roughest waters we find what we are looking for. Pushed away from the shore of stability, away from the harbor of safety and comfort, we go out into the deep. It is the deep that calls us. There is something out past the banks, just something beyond where our feet can wade that we have to get away from, that which is sure and steady. To stand when the waves crash, here we learn trust. Few got into the boat, and only one stepped out of that into the unknown. Here we learn what it means to be that lonely sailor. Very few ever get in the boat. Some will wait by the shore for your return, some to jeer and others to see what happens, others to hear the stories, but if we want to know what is out in the deep we must go to where our feet can not wander. We will have to leave what we know for what is unknown, this is faith. This is what it means to trust. On the shore we have our own strength, but on the waves we are at the mercy of the One who Walks upon the Water, who calms the raging seas, and speaks to the storms to make them be silent. All of which would never have been experienced if on the shores.
420621_10151354021190153_730945152_23273302_1902306621_n    Maybe that is why the deep calls to deep. Inside of us there is a longing for more. We know we were created for something greater. Something of more meaning. Something eternal. Deep calls unto Deep..
   There is a song that has meant so much to me in the last few months and still speaks to me, Oceans-Where Feet May Fail, by Hillsong the lyrics are:
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise; My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand, Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

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Faithful Woundings

310673_283459351664599_420919659_n “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”
Songs flood my mind and wash over my heart as I am wrecked on the shores of life. Words are crashing like the waves, each ebb and flow, washing lyrics of tunes that have gone unsong for years, now echoing in the valley of my soul. Lyrics like “Looking for a reason, Roaming through the Night to find my place in this world.” or “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
   There is an emptiness that longs to be filled. A hole, a void, some great divide in the soul that seems to only get deeper with the shifting of the body and spirit. The flesh really offers no solution and the soul grasps for anything to fill it. The echos of my own thoughts resound off the canyon walls of my heart. Meaning and purpose give way to a crushed spirit, the waves beat upon the shores erroding more and more, yet the spirit is waiting for something to be washed up.
What has caused the chasm? When did this gorge form? Was it always there? I think it was. I think this chasm in our soul has always been there and we have thrown handfuls of dirt, material and superficial things, into it thinking that it will fill in what is lacking. We feel proud with the little we can toss in, and even more so when others pour into us with their applause, acceptance, and recognition. We feel the gap narrowing. A void being filled.. But we really are 528828_2325856884061_457825354_ndeceived when we think this will fill it. I think this is why the Bible gives us these little insights. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” I don’t think our friends really know the wounds they give. I don’t think Judas, when betraying Jesus, really saw the harm in what would come. I don’t think we understand how deep the cuts are when friends wound us. It is in these wounds we find that we really our broken, that there really is a gap between the soul and spirit. There is a longing in us that no one can really fill, feel, but we will continue to believe the lie than face the truth. So, we have to have this wounding of a friend come and it lets us know the vastness of our brokenness. We really are frail, yet we are fearfully and wonderfully made. As Rich Mullins put it,
Well, it took the hand of God Almighty
To part the waters of the sea 

But it only took one little lie
To separate you and me
Oh, we are not as strong as we think we are
We are frail, we are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small

And not as strong as we think we are”.
564815_435866963090503_1137994677_n   And so it is with us. There is a great parting, a divide, a gulf, that we ourselves can not pass. When we think we can, we are soon brought to the limits of our humanity by the wounding of our friends. Some thinking they are doing a service to God, or to us. Being separated by one little lie, we come to the edge of the cliff looking down, seeing that we are awfully small and not as strong as we think we are. This is the sum of our being. Some are stronger than others and so pride themselves in their aloneness and self-sufficiency, yet they too are brought to their humanity when the trails and tribulations of this life wash over them. When the waves of such force, that tips the greatest of ships, roll in what does it bring? When the tide rolls out what is left?
It is when we see that there is a great divide, and we are broken, we can receive the Grace that fills in the void of brokenness and emptiness. We can receive the Mercy to connect the soul and spirit over the chasm of regret and shame. “For Ragamuffins, God’s name is Mercy. We see our darkness as a6252_102619929748543_3529917_nprized possession because it drives us into the heart of God. Without mercy our darkness would plunge us into despair – for some, self-destruction. Time alone with God reveals the unfathomable depths of the poverty of the spirit.” Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel.
    “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” They reveal in us the great need, the great divide in the soil of our soul that has been dug out and eroded away by this life from all the pain, sadness, abuse, and stealing of that which was is in our spirit.

 

My Heart is Upon the Waters

562862_2325855964038_224558256_n“The Spirit of the Lord hovered above the waters.” Genesis 1:2

Writing is a lot like fishing. I think sometimes we need to sit at the banks of the water with our bait in until something bites. To often we make a few casts and nothing really happens. We may write or blog a few times and nothing seems to flow. We don’t get any bites, so we pack up and move on or quit fishing all together. So this is me dipping my foot in the water, with my line cast out. I am sitting at the bank waiting for what is coming by, even as “the Spirit gives utterance.”
I love fishing. It use to be my favorit hobby. I was never great at it, but loved it. All the complexities of it. All the various methods. Trying to figure out how to catch each species of fish. Every weekend I would spend on a lake somewhere with my friends and family trying to catch fish. Sometimes it was successful and other times not so much. But each trip had its memories. Each trip had its lessons, and it is in these that made it a challenge and an invitation to return and conquer.
I loved being on the water. My spirit was on the water.. I didn’t mind the cold. I didn’t mind rising up early to go. I wanted to be the first on the lake. I wanted to get to my spot early. I wanted to claim my area. I wanted to be in the right place at the right time to catch the most fish in the peak time.
208625_1006683625554_2761212_n I didn’t mind getting wet. I didn’t mind the hours it took. I absolulely loved being on the water. When I was on the boat, time didn’t matter. My schedule of things to do seemed to disappear. Worry. Regrets.. Failures. The cares of this life all seemed to fade away. All that mattered was getting in the right position. Being in the right place. Making the right cast in the area I was aiming for. I miss fishing..
Jesus talked about fishing. Half of his disciples were fishermen. I can so relate to this. Fishing is an interesting metaphor. So many similarities in so much of life can be drawn by comparing fishing to life. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” And such we are and such is life.. See, fishing requires patience. Knowledge. Fishing is a skill that can be improved upon. There are various technics, various baits, methods, styles, and types. It is really unlimited and as vast as according to the species you are trying to catch.
The one common theme in fishing though is you have to go. You have to do.. And in this is learning, developing technics, skill, and understanding. You start understanding where to go. What to use. What works. Which bait is preferred. So much to consider, it can be overwhelming. You can be bogged down in all the how to’s and what-nots that you lose the joy of the experience. Fishing should be fun.. Make sense?
I think Christianity is a lot like this. We are called to be Fishers of Men, and there is so much that this involves 377596_2325905485276_1672297566_nand so many methods that we can get lost in the details and understanding that we miss what the joy is.. The joy of going. The joy of doing. This is something that is not to be as much a chore, or drudgery, as much as it is time to spend with our Father, “to be about our Father’s business.” To often we have made it about knowing everything. Understanding all possibilities.. But all knowledge and all understanding will not bring us to the banks of the water and get our lines wet unless we go to where the fish are..
So it is in Going that we are actually doing something. This must be why they refer to this scripture as the Great Commission, “Go you into all the world.” You will never catch a fish if we never go fishing, if we never get our pole out, pack up, and get to the water.. We can have all the knowledge in the world. We can even watch videos, seeing people fish, demonstrating how to do it. Watching “professionals” do it for a living. We can even cheer on our favorite fisherman. But if we never do it we are only spectators, never actually doers and the Bible even tells us to be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” So often we look at the elders, the pastors, deacons, paid people, as the ones who are to “do”.. They are the fishermen, but Jesus calls us to “come”, to “be fishers of men.”
200053_1006683705556_7455236_nWe are to get wet. We are to brave the weather. We are to apply our knowledge and develop our skills so that we may “do”.. If we never “do,” we are mere hearers only and our faith is dead the Bible says. “Faith with out works is DEAD.”
Something interesting about fishing with children is.. When they aren’t catching fish, they start throwing rocks. This too is a metaphor, because when you start throwing rocks it scares the fish and those that are still trying to catch fish will not be able to. I think a lot of times, even we as adults, when we aren’t catching fish we start skipping stones across the water. Maybe not trying to be hurtful, but the results are that it is scaring the fish off. So let us drop our rocks. Let us not cast the stones of doubt. May we not skip the rocks of bitterness, gossip, or slander. Let us hold fast to that which we are called to do. “Let us not become weary of well doing for at the proper time we will reap, “catch” if we do not give up.”

My heart is upon the waters.cropped-392734_329213243755876_100000016098276_1354407_11803992_n.jpg