by Lori Stanley Roeleveld @LoriSRoeleveld
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10 ESV
Deep sea creatures are fascinating, and they have a story to tell.
If I could overcome my raging claustrophobia long enough to enter a submarine, I’d travel beneath the sea to observe giant squid, octopi, and lantern fish in their own habitat. I believe they have a lot in common with us Jesus-followers.
Creatures that dwell in the deep sea are perfectly designed to survive in their surroundings. (Like us, when we become new creatures in Christ.)
They have large eyes especially designed to see in the dark, lightless depths. So, too, do followers of Jesus have eyes designed to see in dark, lightless places. Like Father Damien, a priest who volunteered to work, and eventually to die, on the Kalaupapa leper colony in Hawaii. He did not see disease; he saw human beings who craved the loving touch of God.
Deep sea dwellers are designed to glow in the dark – they have their own inner light that shines in the depths where no sunlight penetrates. So, shines the light of Jesus-lovers. Consider Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who hid Jews from the Nazis and was eventually captured and imprisoned with her sister in a concentration camp (Ravensbruck). She was able to shine the light of Christ even there. Her sister, Betsy, died at Ravensbruck, but not before she told Corrie, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
Sea creatures are beautiful and graceful when they are in their element. They were designed to live surrounded by deep saltwater that exerts immense pressure and helps to give these creatures their form and flow. Followers of Christ are meant to abide in Him, our Living Water, and when we do follow Him into the deep heart of God, it is in the immense pressure we experience from outside sources that we find our actual form and flow. We cease to flop about on the surface of spirituality or deflate and rot on the shore gasping to breathe air we’re not equipped to utilize.
Out of their element, stranded or washed up on shore, deep sea creatures are ghastly, odiferous, and subject to quick death. So do we, apart from life in Christ, become distortions of our intended design, continually given over to death of the soul, spirit, and eternal life.
Feeling out of your element? You are. You were meant to dive deep, to travel deep, to dwell deep—salt, water, light…it’s in your re-born DNA. If you are in Christ, you are a new creature according to 2 Corinthians 5:17. You must discover your new element – which is only found in Christ.
Feeling the pressure of life in Christ? You were made for the pressure. It will shape you, support you, and free you. You were designed to inhale water—Living Water.
Go ahead! Dive into the heart of God. There’s nothing to fear. It’s what you were made to do.
About the author: Lori Stanley Roeleveld is an author, speaker, and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored four encouraging, unsettling books. Her latest release is The Art of Hard Conversations: Biblical Tools for the Tough Talks that Matter. She speaks her mind at www.loriroeleveld.com.
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