My Weight Belt

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.starfish

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.



  1. I love this Jennifer! I used to think of myself as an adrenaline junkie. I lived for adventure and had a bucket list a mile long. If something was considered adventurous, it was on my list..skydiving, parasailing, rock climbing, river rafting, flying, sea kayaking, and yes, scuba diving. I even completed the Scuba certification course in Laguna Beach, CA. I too had to wear a weight belt. One thing that struck me about your story is that your “buddy” left you behind. That is rule #1 in scuba diving..never leave your buddy. You must have felt very alone and scared at that moment. It is easy to feel that way in life too, but we are not alone. God is right here with us. He goes before us and stands behind us. I love the song “The God of Angel Armies Is Always By My Side.” Today, my lifestyle is very different, but I still love adventure! Instead of jumping out of airplanes, I pursue Christ with the reckless passion of a pilot flying into the Bermuda Triangle…not knowing what lies ahead. Following Christ is a wild adventure full of risk, frustration, excitement, and setbacks. There is nothing ordinary or hum-drum about it. Jen, I love your analogy…the Holy Spirit is our weight belt. I might add that Jesus is our buddy…one that will never leave us behind. I couldn’t agree more…living with a constant awareness of God’s presence is the only way to REALLY live.

    1. Agreed, Donna!! I love your sense of adventure, you’re way ahead of me! 🙂 Right on about Jesus always being with us, i’m praying for an even greater sense of this for you.

  2. Jen, I loved what you shared here. I appreciate your honesty, am very encouraged by how you are experiencing the Lord’s presence, and, as I read your experience, sense God’s call for me also to simply sit at His feet and behold His presence more than I do. This is definitely the greatest experience. It’s so awesome what God is doing in you as shown by your comment: “I am no longer satisfied living outside of this awareness of His close proximity.” Amen. May this be true of all of us. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Oh, Jen–how I long to be feel His Presence all day long, not just in quiet time (and even more keenly in those moments), but the distractions of the day often override my sense of that, or maybe I’m just not listening well enough.  Thanks for putting this out there for me to see–again.  I so appreciate it.  Georgia


    1. Georgia that is my prayer too, I am easily distracted and frustrated by small things. Lord give us grace to pursue Your presence every day, and surprise Georgia with Your smile this week!

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