Even the deepest oceans can be mapped and surveyed these days.
Using sonar, radio waves echo out from the surface where a ship is to the floor, where they bounce back and are received again–establishing the depths.
I think something similar happens in the Spirit.
God sounds the depths of our hearts and uses events that echo our past to gauge where we are in the present.
He recreates a similar scenario to reawaken buried emotions and free us from the tyranny of traumas.
But it is hellish to go through.
A Personal Echo
When I was seven years old I going through a germaphobic phase, looking through my food for contaminants and recoiling from all dirt.
I was on the back porch and something worth celebrating happened.
My dad approached me to hug me, but I saw his hands were dirty from gardening.
So I pulled away.
He took it very personally, as if I was rejecting him the same way his father had.
So he angrily said, “I’m not going to hug you for awhile so you know how it feels!”
At first, I blew it off and thought I could outlast his strangely punitive over-reaction.
And forgot about it.
Until, a week later, another celebration event happened and I initiated a hug with him.
But he was stiff and kept his hands to his sides, causing me to suddenly remember his vow.
The shaft went home and I ran to my room and covered myself in a thick comforter, hoping someone would notice I was missing and would look for me.
But after an hour, nobody noticed and nobody came.
I still remember the lesson whispered to my heart as I emerged from the comforter, “You are alone. There is nobody there for you. Nobody will ever come.”
Something good between us died that day because I was too young to understand my dad’s heart wound and he was too impatient to understand my childish issue with germs.
And something toxic was born inside of me, a wrong lesson destined to enact its own damage in later years.
Getting Below the Surface
So now I have a supremely good, infinitely loving Father in heaven.
And, at times, He puts me on purpose into situations where I am emotionally hurt by undeserved human abandonment, causing me to feel just like I did when I was seven.
My tendency is still to retreat and hide in a blanket and hope somebody cares enough to notice and wrap me in their arms.
My fear is still nobody will notice, nobody will come, and nobody will care.
It seems pointless but it isn’t
Like sonar, current events echo backwards and down until they reach the depths of the past where a long-buried object lies on the ocean floor.
Much like Howard Hughes’ ship the Glomar Explorer, the famous salvage ship that lifted a Soviet submarine off a deep ocean floor in the 1970’s, the Spirit salvages us from the depths.
Not to torment us, or to experiment on us, or cruelly play with us, but to pull us back to the sunlit surface of His love from the abyss into which we’ve sunk.
If we don’t understand this salvage operation, we’ll tend to fight it and stay lost in the deeps.
We won’t realize why He’s emotionally taken us “back there”.
We won’t know He’s done it in order to pour His love into the deepest place of lost control, unrelievable pain, and utter powerlessness.
We’ll either lash out in rage or retreat into a self-made isolation bubble.
In Need of Raising
The truth is we are all underneath something far deeper than we are.
All of us are at the mercy of issues that dwarf us, and totally out of our depths as fallen, limited human beings.
We need someone to locate us, salvage us, and raise us up.
And that both frightens us and intrigues us, pushes us and pulls us.
Life returns when we see the process as greatest love and allow ourselves to be loved even more deeply than the pain.
And when we are loved in that abyss, loved where we most desperately need it, loved over and over and over again, something shifts.
We learn the counter-lesson, the truth that sets us free.
There is a love higher than our depths and greater than our deepest pain.
And that love is seeking us out, pursuing us, ever longing to wrap us within it and embrace us.
It is the love of God Himself, our utterly good Father.
The cross-bearing, ultimately suffering, seeking-and-saving-the-lost kind of love.
It is a love we encounter and then choose to receive or push away each and every day.
Not just once at initial salvation, but frequently and more deeply as every layer of our soul-onion is exposed and as ever deeper depths of our soul are sounded out.
However different our wounds, the crisis is always the same: will we or won’t we accept God’s redemptive love for us as powerless, inadequate, agonized sinners?
Will we take ourselves out of our own hands and place ourselves into His?
Let God love you
Let Him find you in your depths.
Let Him sink His salvage hooks into you and pull you up from where you’ve fallen.
Stop fighting. Stop arguing. Stop lashing out and blaming.
Stop hiding. Stop running away. Stop burying it in diversions and pleasures.
Get alone and quiet and cry out to Him.
Do not move until His love finds you.
Do not move until it utterly fills you and redefines you….again.
Then move out, move forward, and move back into your home with Him.
Then bring others back home to Him.