After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet,
and the river was too deep to walk across.
I fear deep water and have every reason to.
When I was nine years old, a family in the church my dad pastored invited us to swim in their pool. A couple of my friends then suggested I hop on their inner tube. I was okay while we wobbled around in the shallow end. Then they decided to go into the deep water. As the inner tube slithered toward the deep end, fear overcame me. I held tightly to the edge of the pool to no avail. The inner tube slipped away, but my body stayed and descended underwater. When it appeared the end was almost near, one of my friends propelled my body to the surface. I never learned to swim, and at my age, I don’t plan to learn now.
God gave Ezekiel a vision of a river flowing from God’s temple. As it cascaded downward, it got deeper. Lush vegetation lined the banks. The river symbolized the life God gives and also the blessings that flow from His throne.
Walking or swimming in God’s river is my choice. When I trusted Christ as my Savior, I stepped into the river—the shallow part—the portion I could cross without fear. As I grew in my faith, I moved into the deep waters—waters I could drown in— waters from which someone would have to rescue me if I went under.
I can stay in the shallow waters during my entire Christian experience if I choose to do so. But God wants me to venture into the deep waters of serving and trusting Him completely with every detail in my life. In the deep waters, my faith is tested and refined through severe trials, hindering hardships, and torturing temptations. Yet along the banks of deep-water living are found the luscious food that nurtures my soul into a deeper relationship with my Lord. This vegetation increases my love for God and others. It also satisfies me regardless of my situation in life.
Walk out into the deep waters, and experience God’s best for you.
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What about the deep waters do you fear?
by Martin Wiles
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Martin Wiles is a minister, author, and freelance editor currently living in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is the author of six books, including his two latest, Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He has been published in a number of periodicals, books, and newspapers. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us) and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.