by Dr. Gary Fisher, BHS director of church & faith relations
Deep things intrigue us, yet we rarely search them. We stand at a distance and admire the depth of a canyon or a river but never venture to explore. Most of the treasures of this world are hidden in depths most folks never take the time to search out. The masses of people today are content with superficial exploration and understanding. It takes a restless and adventuresome soul to stare into the mouth of a deep dark cave and then begin the long and dangerous trek to find out what lies beyond. It takes a willingness to risk our safety, our comfort, our time and our energy if the depths are to reveal their hidden treasures.
Think for a moment about your relationships. Aren’t they generally characterized by superficial attempts to relate without ever really venturing into uncharted and uncomfortable territory? When it comes to a person’s relationship with God, the same choices are usually made. We want the simple and uncomplicated bits and pieces of information about God. We avoid anything that looks deep and challenging. The great people of Scripture are just the opposite. They had a hunger and thirst for a better understanding of the depths of God’s character. There was a desire to get past what everyone else was able to see and find some precious treasure hidden in the far reaches of what is known about God.
The psalmist was such a man. Listen to his words, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul pants for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2) Like a thirsty animal searching for life-giving water, parched souls have a need to pass up the stagnant and muddy watering holes and find the fresh and clear waters that are found in the deeper places of life.
God invites us to go deeper rather than to be content with surface matters. Clearly, our Lord operates in realms far beyond our ability to comprehend, but He longs for us to explore and experience that which is beyond the obvious. I, like most men, have struggled through the years with matters of intimacy and vulnerability. It is difficult to open up the depths of my soul to let someone else explore the reality of who I am. But intimacy depends upon it, even demands it. If there is ever to be any fulfillment in a cherished relationship, we must get beyond the surface and delve into the depths of body, soul and spirit.
The writer of Hebrews emphasizes the two essential components to an intimate relationship with God. “He who comes to God must believe that He is, (that’s the thirst for God) and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek (that’s the exploration) Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Father, may we hear clearly Your invitation to dive deeper into You. We are thirsty for You but we seek to satisfy that thirst at the watering holes of the world. Instead, Lord, show us the clear, life-giving water of life that flows deep from within You.