Writing is a strange art. It draws deep and deeper still out of our minds and hearts. Because the art of creativity involves sorting, sifting and lifting what might lie concealed. This happens with our emotions and thoughts, ones we didn’t realise were buried deep inside us. And their surfacing can surprise or frighten us at times.
I’ve been told I have a tendency to think too much, too deeply. My poetry and writing touch on deep issues more than superficial stuff. Maybe my well, like yours, has hidden depths God wants me to access?
Living with the challenges chronic illness brings means I live predominantly out of my head, instead of being physically active. It’s an imbalance of sorts, helping to foster a more spiritually contemplative kind of mindset.
“Storms make the oak grow deeper roots” – George Herbert
Going deeper with God
Although I might be heavily weighed down by sickness, my soul is lifted by God’s goodness and grace. Because His love finds us in the deep and deeper still places of our struggles, suffering and loss.
As I sought a word from the Lord to be my main focus for 2019, God whispered “deeper” to my heart. But what might it mean? Could God be asking me to: Delve deeper into Scripture? Put down deeper roots? Grow in faith and understanding? Develop more love, more grace?
“May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and of the patience that comes from Christ.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (TLB)
Perhaps God is calling me to sit longer with silence or to exercise more patience? It’s too early to tell, but I am seeing this word as an invitation to dig deeper into holy mystery. As we ask questions and ponder the ways of God in our hearts, He helps us to live into the answers to come.
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?” – Job 11:7-8 (NIV)
Here’s how it might look for you and me to go deeper with God
Dig and delve into Scripture to mine its depths, as I deepen my soul’s ability to savour spiritual truth and treasure.
Embrace and engage more enthusiastically with others, instead of unhealthy isolation and withdrawal into myself.
Enlarge my capacity to be encouraging, sit with emotions, note what emerges and what they are saying to me.
Press into God’s best with more purpose and patience than before, and put less pressure on myself to be a perfectionist and to perform.
Erase negative attitudes and reactions that arise automatically, and enhance my ability to be open and positive in word and deed.
Rest intentionally instead of resisting the need, with restored hope of improvement, change and recovery.
Instead of indulging our pondering minds, could God be asking us to trust Him deeper in our hearts? So we might experience unexpected fruit and growth?
“What if the year ahead wasn’t about growing more certain about things, but about releasing the hold of your thinking mind so something deeper and more fertile could rise up?” – Christine Valters Paintner, in Abbey of the Arts newsletter
Maybe we need to surrender more so we can trust better when the going gets tough? God could be calling us to deepen our faith by stepping out bold and brave in new territories and ways. Have you been given a defining word for 2019? One that stretches you even now?
Where might God be inviting you to go deeper with Him? I hope to be exploring this topic with you over the coming months and sharing useful resources to help deepen our walk with God.
Oh, I am so in awe of how God has moved so similarly in our thoughts once again. This thought is so similar to what He asked of me this week, in my own post: “It’s too early to tell, but I am seeing this word as an invitation to dig deeper into holy mystery. As we ask questions and ponder the ways of God in our hearts, He helps us to live into the answers to come.” This mystery, and these questions that frustrate me (because I want ALL the answers) are such a blessing when I allow them to press me deeper into Him. I love the way that you are so willing to plumb the deep places, and then to share with us those beautiful thoughts that God has stretched you with. May I allow Him to bring a boldness in my own heart too, and rejoice in the confirmations that He brings. He does lead us forward with Him! Blessings, love, and hugs to you my Dear Friend! xoxo
Dear Bettie, having just read your post, I can see how connected our thoughts are, as so often happens! We’re both being asked to go deeper than before, and live with uncertainties, until God chooses to reveal the inner depths of our longings and His provision for our every need.
You’re definitely not alone in wanting to know more than seems to be revealed! Our restless, questing souls are on a lifelong journey towards greater restoration and healing. Only God knows how much we can handle in any given season, though we find the waiting and wondering hard to take at times! I’m grateful for your compassionate companionship as we seek to “plumb the deep places” where God leads us. We might feel like we’re standing still, but our trajectory is forward and onwards by His grace. Blessings, love and hugs to you too, dear friend! xoxo 💜
My word for this year is ‘faith’. I believe God wants to take me further on my journey of faith and step out in faith to do what he is calling me to. Thank you for this blog post.
Thanks for sharing your word for the year, Vicki. May God give you all the strength and courage you need to move forward in faith and grow into the calling on your life. Blessings of joy and peace to you, my friend, as you embrace the challenges ahead. xo 💜
This message resonates so much with my own longings, Joy. I, too, desire “an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and of the patience that comes from Christ.” I love the acrostic with the word deeper and all the deep desires and reflections in it. And this line fills me with hope –
“God’s love finds us in the deep and deeper still places of our struggles, suffering and loss.” Amen! Thank you for all your love and encouragement! Love and blessings to you!
You, too, Trudy? I’m glad those words resonated with you and you found the acrostic helpful as well. More than that, I am deeply thankful for your loving, encouraging, supportive companionship and friendship. Your words so often feel like a hug from God, coming just when I need it. Love and blessings to you too, dear friend! xo 💜
I love hearing other’s words and just sitting in them. Deeper is a great place to go. laurensparks.net
Thanks, Lauren! It’s good to meet you. I appreciate you stopping by. There is always a great variety of God-given words that people have their year circumscribed and defined by. I love seeing how their meaning becomes clearer in the months ahead. Most of mine have built on what came previously, as is true for this one. Do you have, or are you seeking a word for yourself for 2019? 😊🌼