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Put out into the deep water

“Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch,” Jesus tells Peter shortly after meeting him.*  Peter responds that it doesn’t make sense.  Putting out into the deep water never makes sense, but it’s where you’ll make the big catch. The deep water is where, if you’ll d…
By Seth Barnes

“Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch,” Jesus tells Peter shortly after meeting him.*  Peter responds that it doesn’t make sense.  Putting out into the deep water never makes sense, but it’s where you’ll make the big catch.

The deep water is where, if you’ll dive in, you’re over your head.  It’s where your normal calculations don’t make sense.  The deep water in life is God-space. If he doesn’t show up, failure is certain.  You have to trust God in new ways in deep water.

We’d rather operate according to what our senses tell us.  Trusting God when it doesn’t make sense is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.  Our postmodern minds operate according to a rational grid, calculating probabilities and arbitraging risk. But it’s what God wants when he tells us, “Walk by faith and not by sight.”

We’re at odds with ourselves and our experience in the deep water.  Even our language shows what an uncomfortable place it is to be, “You’re in deep water now!” We say, implying that things could go badly from here.

But it’s the uncertainty of the deep water where God shows up.  It’s there in the place where things don’t make sense that the resources of God can be plumbed.  In the shallows, where we can see the bottom and hug the safety of the shore, we’ll never know God as he wants to be known.  There are no adventures in the shallows.  We navigate according to our senses and experience in the shallows of life.

It’s out in the deep that the schools of fish swim and life’s great catches may be caught.  The wind whips a little stronger out there, and yes, you may drown.  But God didn’t make us to be land lubbers hugging the shore.  He made us to go deep, to trust big and to trust quick.

America is a nation of risk arbitragers. In general, we’re content to splash around in the shallows.  We build our lives within sight of the shore, rarely testing the depths of God and the great life of faith adventure available to all who will trust him.  And we pass that cautious legacy on to our children.

You may be of this culture, but you don’t have to let it define you. Jesus continues to beckon us out into the deep, beyond our comfort and our sense of possibility.  He continues to offer you a life that will amaze the shallow-dwellers in your life if you will just trust him.

Tomorrow’s blog will give you some practical ways to follow Jesus into the deep waters of life.

*Luke 5:4

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