Skimming the surface

The surface is safe.

The surface of a body of water glistens with beautiful reflections of the skies, mountains and forests. The surface makes us want to skate across it, drinking in the beauty that we can behold.

Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

The deep seems frightening.

The vast depths are dark and murky. We can’t see the bottom and don’t know what might block our way. Diving deep requires faith when we can’t see the whole picture.

The safety of the surface often calls to me. Beckons me to dwell there in the known. In the comfortable.  It doesn’t require risk just to look at the beauty. There is no stretching or growing or faith required when you are on the surface.

But the deep with its unknowns is teeming with life and wonders and amazing things…if only I will have faith to explore it. It might seem risky, but I have to let go of the illusion of control.

My devotional life had been skimming the surface. A quick devotion here, a fast prayer there. It looked pretty and shiny, but it didn’t require me sacrificing much time or effort on my part. I didn’t want to admit it, but it was so lacking. It might have looked good on the outside, but inside I was left wanting.

Then I came across Lysa Terkeurst’s First 5 app. If you haven’t downloaded this free app, I highly encourage you do so. Every morning, I am waking to a devotion based on a chapter of scripture, starting with the deep riches of the gospel of John.

But instead of just skimming the surface with the devotion, I’m digging deeper. I’m trying to explore more of those unknown areas and the connections and the wonder that God has placed in His Word.  I’ve challenged myself to go deeper every morning, the first thing when I wake up. I grab a coffee, a journal and my Bible and I start to dig. As my study guide suggests, I’m trying to memorize a key theme of each chapter.

What kind of riches and benefits could I see in my life with a heart full of Scripture? Would I be able to comfort a friend or a stranger with the power of God’s word and not my own surface-skimming platitudes? For me to be more effective as a Christ follower, I have to close my eyes and jump in with both feet to where I can’t see the bottom. And the discoveries in that deep of God’s Word are so much more amazing than the surface’s reflection ever was.

Won’t you join me in digging in deeper to God’s word this week? Start with something small. Encourage a friend to hold you accountable – and hold her accountable, too. If you have children at home, dig in with them to a story and discuss it further. I pray that you hear God’s tug to trust Him and have faith to really experience the depths.

Not skimming the surface,

– Jen Clark


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