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.

deeper - God's love finds us quote - (C)joylenton @wordsofjoy.me

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?

deeper - trusting God deeper in our hearts quote - (C)joylenton @wordsofjoy.me

“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.