Scuba diving in a remote area off the western coast of Colombia has to be one of the most challenging, beautiful things I have experienced.
We attended a class for several weeks ahead of this remote trip that many times I’ve wished I could revisit. (the country, not the class) The class trained us to safely enjoy the beauty that resides in the ocean; an unprepared dive is a dangerous one. Air pressure, water pressure, oxygen tanks, nitrogen, currents, weight belts, communicating under water…it was a whole new vocabulary.
A great deal of time was spent on the mathematics of descending and ascending, according to our body mass and the pressure of being under water. Being a lot lighter back then than I am now, I had to wear a weight belt to keep from floating up during the dive. We would eventually float to the top, but in a very controlled way to keep from getting decompression sickness. Our last dive took us down somewhere between 30 and 60 feet; my memory is a little sketchy. I do know that it was the deepest dive of that trip.
The water on the surface was rough but as we slowly lowered ourselves to the bottom, things became more tranquil. There was too much to see, too little time, and not enough air in our tanks. We saw a manta ray, eels, fish swimming in and out of coral. I stopped to examine a starfish, and then I watched as the sand poofed into a cloud just below me. It was my weight belt hitting the ocean floor.
I quickly looked around and my partner had gone on ahead with the others. Leaning down into the invisible current, I strained to reach my belt, which was sitting there at the bottom of the ocean (imagine a cartoon character
running swimming in place). I was going nowhere, I thought. Actually, I had begun to ascend, and without my weight belt it was going to be a quick and painful trip.
Just as I started to panic, someone grabbed a hold of me and jerked me back to the sea floor. It was one of the leaders, who then scooped up my belt and helped me get situated.
Have you ever had the distinct feeling in life that what you really needed was just out of your reach?
For some years I’ve had that sensation of reaching out to the Lord, not quite connecting, not quite touching, just missing it. Or so I thought.
Something amazing and mysterious is happening in an Omaha house of prayer these days, where the Holy Spirit is making an unmistakable, tangible, weighty appearance in our midst. There is this acknowledgment that it has become a Tent of Meeting of sorts. The more I am there and experiencing that overwhelming sense of Him being in the room, of Him waiting to greet us as we come in the door, the more I want to drop everything and just move in. Those struggles I have fought with for years melt away while just sitting in His Presence, without me having to do anything.
Like diving at 40 feet, life is both complicated and beautiful and sometimes dangerous. It is full of pressure and we need special equipment to navigate it.
The Holy Spirit is my weight belt.
I realize my analogy doesn’t carry very far. Even though our experiences of beauty are just the preview compared to the beauty of Christ and His Glory, we still relate them.
The Holy Spirit is my weight belt because He keeps me steady, balanced, able to interact with life without being carried away by distraction, or toward destruction.
I’ve also come to another realization; not everyone in the family of God has an appreciation for this kind of discovery. There’s no condemnation, grace to anyone whom that describes. It can seem like a waste of time to just sit or sing or pray….or just sit yet again. Entering into the ocean of God’s presence can also make one feel out of control or even doubtful. But it is something I’m definitely wanting to learn to live with and abide in. I am no longer satisfied living outside of this awareness of His close proximity.
The great thing is that not only is this happening in Omaha, but in many other places across the globe. It is a taste of Habakkuk 2:14 where “the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.”
Grab your diving gear and discover the depths of God’s love in His Presence.