At some point in children’s lives, the parents permit them to swim in the deep end of the pool. Growing up with a public pool, I can remember the various roped off areas based on the water depth. There was the shallow end, the larger pool that went from three feet to five feet, and then the deep end where the diving boards were. As a kid, the goal was to be able to swim in the deep end. The older you grew and the better swimmer you became, you didn’t want to remain in the shallow end. You wanted to go deeper.
In many ways, growing in our faith is like learning to swim in deeper water. When we enter into a faith relationship with Jesus Christ, the goal is to grow in our faith. The Christian faith is not a static stop in life, but an ongoing journey whereby God’s Holy Spirit works in our lives to shape us and mold us into the image of our Lord. As the apostle Paul would write in his letter to the Philippians: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) God desires to move our faith to deeper waters.
In the Gospel of Mark, there is a story of Jesus healing a blind man. In the town of Bethsaida, a blind man was brought to Jesus to heal. Jesus took the man and touched his eyes with his saliva. Jesus asked the man if he could see anything. The man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” (Mark 8:24) The man could see, but his vision was blurry. Jesus touched the man a second time and with this second touch, the man now saw everything clearly. Something in that second touch enabled the man’s sight to be restored.
We need to daily be touched by Christ Jesus. Each day is an opportunity for God’s Spirit to work in our lives to restore us completely. While at the first touch of Jesus we are saved, God is not finished with us yet. Rather, over time, as we daily surrender to God’s Spirit, God helps us to see more clearly. Daily God moves us into deeper waters. Our salvation is an ongoing process that is never completed on this side of heaven. It is why Paul confessed, For now, we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
God wants to bring us to deeper waters. While such waters may seem mysterious and fearful at times, we can trust in God’s grace to teach us to swim. God wants to move all us beyond where we are at this moment. God has more to show us, more for us to experience, and more for us to learn. We just have to trust in the currents of God’s Spirit flowing in and through us to bring us to where God wants us to be.