After returning from a scuba diving trip in Mexico, our pastor is teaching a series with the theme “H2O,” using the ocean as a parable to describe God’s infinite love and challenge us to really dive in and seek to know the God we claim to trust instead of just splashing around with superficial faith.
Probably not coincidentally, this week also happens to be Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. So, Jim’s one or two references to that TV event made a nice, humorous segue to the parable.
He shared one of the best examples he has heard describing our shallow faith, and in turn, shallow lives, goes something like: “Every fear, every worry, every mistake, everything that keeps you up tossing and turning at night is only for one reason — you don’t know (or you forgot) who God is.”
If we really understood the vastness of the love God has for us, the boundlessness of his ability and the depth of his character, we would live our lives completely differently. We’d make different choices.
But we settle for less, as CS Lewis says, splashing around in the mud like a child who can’t comprehend the idea of a vacation of the beach. In fact, even when he goes down to the sea, Lewis says his endless temptation is to “neither swim nor dive nor float, but only dabble and splash” being careful not to loose his grip on the temporal things he perceives to be his lifeline (Weight of Glory, p. 187).
The God we think we know looks more to us like water in a jar, or a bucket, than a vast, unfathomable ocean, filled with mystery and wonder.
But if we were to grasp just a bit of the sea, what would our lives look like if we lived by Paul’s supposition in Romans: ” If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ”
If he gave up everything to be with me, why do I huddle in my little house of fear, desperately grasping to the relative safety of my job, my remodeling projects that I have convinced myself are going to make my cage more comfortable, and the weekend outdoor adventures that only temporarily satisfy the God-sized thirst of my heart?
After the service, walking out of the auditorium into the bright sunlight and our tidy little neighborhood, I’m pondering what all this means when behind me I overhear a girl say to her boyfriend:
“I really want to watch Shark Week this week! I haven’t seen it in a long time. I miss it.”