Alone In The Deep

  

"The first time I was brought before the judge, no one was with me. Everyone had abandoned me....."But the Lord stood with me, and gave me strength...." 2 Timothy 4:16-17....."Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Luke 5:4....."The next time you feel in a helpless situation and know you're in over your heard, remember the sovereign Lord who placed you there....He knows what awaits us there. He is Lord of the wind and the waves, the harvest, the loneliness, or whatever else might face us 'in the deep.' " Chris Tiegreen

These two scriptures speak to me today. After so many years of walking with Him, I have found that as He did with Paul, and with His disciples, He often leads us into lonely places. Dangerous places. Places where we feel bereft of all human comfort and help. Places we would never choose to be. Be it ministry, relationships, health, or simply in the day to day affairs of life, He will take us into "deep places." Places where we know full well that we are "in over our heads." Maybe we're in such a place right now.

Paul, knowing he stood before a representative of the mightiest empire of the ancient world, was very aware that in himself he had no hope. Any hope he may have had in his "friends" was gone since those friends had left him alone. Yet it was in that forlorn place that He experienced the wondrous presence of His Lord. Christ stood with Him there, and if he had been depending upon or experiencing the mere comfort of men, he never would have had the unforgettable experience of knowing what it was to stand with and in Christ and Christ alone. Such a place is a terror to our flesh, but a glorious opportunity to know Him. I think I know in a very small part something of that.

Twenty seven years ago, living on a denominational campground that was virtually abandoned now that it was early winter, 2 Timothy 4 became a reality to me. Having nowhere else to go with the collapse of my marriage and ministry, I was living there in a small cottage. Coming home after a long days work, I felt as Paul must have. Alone, abandoned....forgotten. Then I read that passage of scripture, and I immediately knew that I was none of those. He, as He did with Paul, stood with me. He, and not my circumstances were the reality. And with Him, I could do all things.....including seeing my life and ministry restored....in and by Him......I would never wish to re-live those days, but neither would I ever exchange what I learned and experienced of Him in those days. I was indeed in over my head, in deep waters I never sought to be in. They were too much for me. They were never too much for Him. Whatever our, your, deep waters may be, they will never be more or greater than He is. He is the master of every lonely place, and every deep place. No matter how dark, how lonely they may be.

It made no sense to Peter and the other disciples to head out into the deep water. They'd caught nothing before, so what was the point. Oftentimes, most times, His leading will make no more sense to us. Yet lead us He does. To that place He calls us to obediently follow Him to. There, we will discover His Person, Power and Presence. It likely will be deep, dark, lonely and frightening. The perfect scenario to encounter the risen Christ. If you are not there, you will be. In that place, will you flee from Him, or run to Him? What is more real to you? The deep, the darkness, the loneliness....or Him?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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