Jump On In!
I’ve mentioned before that I like the practice of choosing a word for the year. Sort of a scaled-down mission statement as I move from one year into the next. This isn’t something I do flippantly; I put a fair amount of thought and prayer into it. I ask God what HE wants me to focus on in the coming months.
My chosen word for 2018 is “DEEP”. There are two pictures that come to mind here. One is my neighbor’s sycamore tree. Probably planted in this spot at least 75 years ago, its roots most certainly press down deep into the soil. Even in the wintertime when its branches are bare, its bleached bark reflects the sun’s light brilliantly and it stands outside my kitchen window as a symbol of strength and beauty. But without the depth of the roots, its branches would never withstand the storms.
The other visual image in my head is a dock extended over deep waters. I am wading around in the very shallow of the beach, barely dipping my toes in. Occasionally a wave washes up and splashes my legs and it feels delightful and refreshing, but mostly I stand on the shore and gaze out at the mysteries of the deep, wondering and a little bit afraid of what lies under the surface.
I envision Jesus out in the deep, calling me to join Him, like the dad who waits in the water with open arms, inviting his frightened child standing on the dock to “jump on in!”
I don’t know when my fear of deep water started. I just know I’m much more drawn to the dry shores. I’m not one to dive in headfirst. I’m the one who sits on the sideline dipping my bare feet in just a bit. But lately… I envision Jesus out in the deep, calling me to join Him, like the dad who waits in the water with open arms, inviting his frightened child standing on the dock to “jump on in!”
In 2013, we spent six months living on Ambergris Caye, an island in Belize. Lots of people go there to scuba dive because the second largest reef in the world is off the coast of this beautiful island. Scuba diving is not an option for me – I mean, let’s not get crazy – but some friends invited us out in their boat, where we would anchor in the deep waters near the reef and do some snorkeling.
I’m not gonna lie. It was a little outside my comfort zone. But the beauty we experienced under those waters was beyond anything I could have imagined.
So what does this look like exactly? This venture into deeper waters in 2018? I’m not entirely sure, but I have some ideas. I believe it’s about deepening my knowledge as a counselor through the Global Trauma Recovery courses. It may be about partnering with another therapist to build a stronger Christian counseling resource here in Celina. It’s about a school expansion in the Middle East. An attic loft conversion to make room for a growing community. Digging deeper into God’s Word in our Havirim group. It’s an invitation to pray deeper and worship with abandon and live with eyes wide open to His handiwork all around me.
There is beauty, for sure, from the shore. But there is a world of vibrant color and life that can never be experienced if I choose to stay dry. Yes, there are dangers in the deep as well. I don’t trust myself not to get panicky and breathless and let the terror pull me under. But I do trust the One who walks on water, who speaks and the waves and wind obey. The One who summons me by name and says “Come and see!”.
What about you? Is God calling you to deeper waters in some area? Is there a new dream taking shape, or an old one being rekindled? Get your feet wet, my friend. Take a step toward the deep. Or maybe just jump on in!