I sat on the outside edge of our boat looking down into the water. Its murkiness hid what was below it’s surface. I knew there were fish under the glittery-tipped ripples because I could occasionally see the outline of their bodies, but for the most part, I was just looking into muddy water.

Sometimes this is our life. We try hard to see what’s on the other side, but are given only glimpses of its reality. The unknown hides itself from our curiosity. And the less we know, the more intrigued we become. Some of us have been there before; into deep waters. A place where light reflects only at its surface.

I’ve been there a few times over the years. The deeper I allowed myself to go, the less I could see. The less light, and the more heaviness I felt against my chest. The unknown, along with the familiarity of past experiences, is overwhelming; it manifests a fear of no return. How does someone deal with, and overcome, sinking into a dark pit of self-destruction and despair?

I’ve always been told to never look back. Let the past be the past, and focus on the present and the future. Although I agree with that statement in most ways, it is in my looking back where I see God the most. My past reveals an amazing and awesome truth and reality that I didn’t see at the time – Jesus.

He was there; during the hypnotic stare into the murkiness; during the curiosity of what was under the surface; during the choices and decisions to take the risk in seeing what was at the bottom. He was there. I felt the bottom of the pit, and I felt the hand that reached down and lifted me out. His hand. Even then, as I was beginning to see the light on the surface, and the murkiness of the water remained. As soon as I caught my breath, I was once again, looking over the edge of the boat in curiosity.

I’m not sure how many times Jesus reached His hand out to me, but He always has. And I know in my heart He always will. His promises never fail.

I like looking back into my past. It’s why I write. And why I want to tell my story. My story is His story! It doesn’t hurt anymore. I’ve been freed from its sting. And now I only feel and see His love, mercy and grace. I feel peace and joy! I now have hope! And it’s in that hope that I know Jesus will always save me. It’s in that hope that I know His grace is also sufficient.

Take His hand! Take a look at your past with clear eyes and rejoice! Praise our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.” Jonah 2:1-6

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