This past year, I endured one of the most difficult seasons in the over two decades. I felt like I was being hit on every side. Relentlessly. During this time, someone I served with, and with whom I hadn’t shared much, texted me to tell me her husband had dreamt that evil was chasing me.
And I was like, “I so feel that!” But, I also knew that good had already won and my victory was sure because no matter how far I sank, I would always find God holding me.
If you can relate, today’s post by a sweet friend and Wholly Loved team member will encourage you.
Finding God in the Depths
by Jessica Brodie
Have you ever been in a body of water, certain you could touch the ground, only when you fumbled for footing, there was none?
Our family spent some time last week at a waterpark, where my favorite activity has always been the wave pool. In case you’re not familiar, wave pools are giant swimming pools that start out shallow and grow increasingly deep, and every so often, water courses out in giant, slow waves for about fifteen minutes while everyone gently bobs up and down in the water. After fifteen minutes, it stops, and the water is calm again.
I love the soothing, rhythmic motion of the waves. My body relaxes as the waves guide me up and down, up and down, my feet gently lifting up off the bottom and then back down again. All is safe and well.
Unlike the ocean, in the pool I can relax. I don’t have to worry about sharks or riptides. My only concern is getting a little too close to a stranger or when I need to reapply sunscreen.
But one day, as I let the waves lull my body into relaxation, I didn’t realize that with every lull I was also inching deeper and deeper into the pool. At one point I bobbed up, then came down, expecting my feet to find the bottom—only they didn’t. I was in too deep, the water now over my head.
Quickly, I swam a few feet toward the shallow end and regained my footing. My peaceful motion began once more. Everything was fine.
But in life, sometimes it’s not so easy. I find myself rolling along, not paying much attention to my surroundings, and suddenly I’ve gotten myself into deep waters—a situation a bit over my head, with all sorts of unexpected dangers. And unlike the wave pool, swimming toward swallow water isn’t so easy, nor is there always footing to find.
Sometimes I’m stuck there in those deep waters, flailing about, not sure how to extricate myself from the situation.
Perhaps you’ve been there, too—a temptation that got out of hand, a “white lie” that became deception, a health worry that turned into an all-out panic, a quarrel that evolved into the utter dissolution of a relationship.
What then? What do you do when you can’t find shallow ground, when you’re surrounded by deep water and there’s nothing you can do but scramble to stay afloat… or surrender?
For me, those are the times I’ve found God to be the closest—right there in the depths of my affliction, my pain, my struggle, or my fear.
God, who as “Word became flesh” (John 1:14) suffered a brutal, humiliating, tortuous death on the cross after the worst betrayal imaginable, understands what it means to be in deep waters. God understands what it means to want help so desperately, yet there’s nothing to do but endure the pain.
It can be incredibly difficult to seek and trust God when we are in the depths of pain and despair, when the darkness looms so powerfully we cannot even imagine light, let alone a way through.
Yet He is there, and He always has been.
He was there before creation, beyond time, the Alpha and the Omega. He is our rescuer and our redeemer, our brother and father and Maker and friend all in one.
We may have ashes, but God brings beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:2-3). We may have dry bones, but we know God can turn dry bones into life (Ezekiel 37:1-10).
Trusting God and knowing that everything will truly be all right doesn’t mean the situation will right itself in this earthly realm. We might indeed lose that relationship, succumb to that illness, get fired from our job, or wind up on the streets. We might spend a lot of time in those deep waters, suffering and begging for reprieve—maybe a reprieve that doesn’t come until we draw our last breath.
But what we can know in the depths of our soul is that we will find reprieve in eternity. Our hopes lies in Jesus.
Today, if you are floundering in the deep, take a breath and know you are not alone. God is with you.
As the apostle Paul teaches us in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (NIV).
We truly can. Amen.
Get to Know Jessica Brodie:
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden. She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and part of the team at Wholly Loved Ministries. Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com.