“The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5).
A couple of years ago, I attended a women’s conference where I had the privilege of meeting a few of my blogging friends. At that time, I was fairly new to blogging, so the depth of relationship with other bloggers remained somewhat superficial. (It takes time to build depth of relationship, does it not?) I’ll never forget a comment I received from Lelia after spending some time with her one evening.
“Elaine, I thought you would be this deep, philosophical, thinking kind of person, but you’re really normal and fun to be around.”
I immediately understood what she was saying, and after a hearty, belly laugh we went shopping… for underwear. Yes, it didn’t take long for me to dispel any myths regarding my ponderous estate, and I was glad for the disclosure. Why? Because I sometimes think it is easy for us to paint a picture with our words in our blog posts that misses the mark regarding who we are in our day-to-day, real life. I never want to be accused of “writing someone” that I’m not. Accordingly, I’ve tried to keep it real here at the blog, even as I try to keep it real in on the pavement of my everyday life.
Am I normal and fun to be around? Ask anyone who knows me. They’re the accurate judge on the matter. On the contrast, am I a deep, philosophical, thinking kind of gal? I’ll let the archives of my some 350 blog posts tell the story. I am a woman who loves to laugh and who loves to ponder. Laughter and thinking are compatible sojourners on this pilgrimage of grace. They balance one another… knowing when to defer center-stage status to the other and when to step in as a replacement. I don’t have to be one or the other. I can be both.
And just this morning, I came across the above verse from Proverbs which seems to grant me permission to keep pondering… keep thinking… keeping digging deeply into the recesses of my heart for the hidden mysteries that reside beneath. God mysteries. The ones that belonged to him first; the ones that belong to me now because of my status as his child.
“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
I’ve got some “deep waters”, friends. So do you. You may think that you don’t… that somehow you’re just an average thinker with an average heart that doesn’t dip too far below the surface to mine the treasures of God—to contemplate his heart, his thoughts, and his perspective. Some of you feel ill-equipped for the task, perhaps even wrong for wanting to try. God is big… really big, and you feel comparably small. Digging below the surface to get to the heart of God may seem dangerous to you… even treacherous, almost as if to “go there” would be to cross some spiritual boundary or to break some religious law that wrongly states, “You can go this far with God and no more.”
God doesn’t put limits on what can be known about him. Certainly, in this season of our lives we see in part, live in part, know in part, walk in partial understanding. Fullness of understanding will come when we get home to Jesus, but until then, we have the freedom to dig.
To dip our buckets into the well of perfect understanding and to wait for God to fill them accordingly. We get to live deeply because we anchor our personal ships in some deep waters. When our lives were formed and fashioned in the secret place (Psalm 139), they were created in depth, with depth, to live depth. There was nothing shallow about that moment; in contrast, your conception represents, perhaps, the deepest, most hidden moment of your existence. When God weaved you together in your mother’s womb, he variegated your flesh with colors and contrasts and intricacies that can only be discovered with your willingness to go deeper with your Creator.
In doing so—in mining the treasures beneath your surface—you discover some of the mysteries that better enable you to live your life with sacred perspective. You discover the wise counsel of God which sheds light into your plan and your purpose for being on this earth. Without the dig comes the risk of remaining shallow—of living the rest of your days with surface understanding.
For some of you, that’s enough. You don’t have to think too far beyond current wisdom to be secure in your faith. You’re happy with the knowledge that you hold, and it will be more than enough to carry you through to glory. I celebrate that in you. I wouldn’t want you to be someone that you’re not. But I will tell you this one thing because, just maybe, you haven’t realized this about yourself.
You’ve got some deep waters bubbling beneath the surface of your heart this day. A big, huge cauldron of wet waiting for you to dive into in order to discover some hidden truth that you’ve yet to hold as your own. To get there, you need to be willing to get wet—to ponder and to think with your heart wide-open before God. You’ll need to ask questions in prayerful pause. You’ll need to wait for our Father’s response. It won’t be immediate, but as you are faithful to press into the heart of God, he will be faithful to fill yours with a ladle or two of his personal mystery.
And for that, friends, I’ll keep digging. I want to know Christ. I want to live the resurrected life while my flesh yet tarries in this land. Today is the day of salvation, and we have a God who can be known… deeply known. And for as much as I can know God on this side of eternity, I’ll keep dipping my bucket into his well of grace.
“The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.”
Even so, Lord, make me a woman of depth this day. Keep me drawing from your well and keep me believing that with every personal, intentional pursuit of knowledge that I make will come further understanding into the deep things of you. Forgive me when I choose less. Bless me when I choose more… choose big… choose deeply… choose you. I thank you for your mystery. Even greater, I thank you for allowing me to hold some of it as my own. Amen.
Peace for the journey,
PS: Many of you have asked regarding my schedule for the week and how you might pray for me. In the future, I may initiate a “caring bridge” page to keep you updated on the medical trail I’m traveling, but for now, here’s the latest:
Tuesday: Genetic counseling and BRCA testing in Chapel Hill.
Wednesday: PET/CT scans locally
Friday: MUGA (heart) testing, along with chemotherapy counseling locally.
In the next week, a follow-up meeting with my oncologist, the placement of a port-a-cath, the beginning of an eight-cycle regimen of chemotherapy over the next four months.
Please pray for continued healing from my surgery… still very sore and the thought of implanting a port-a-cath sends my stomach reeling! For strength enough, peace enough to courageously walk into this new chapter of healing. We love you each one and covet your prayers as we go forward. Now, how might I pray for you? Shalom.