While on honeymoon in Zanzibar, my husband and I had the amazing opportunity to go swimming with wild dolphins. It is a dream I have had for years and couldn’t believe that it would be actualised.
We were taken out on little fishing boats to a spot in the ocean quite far from the shore where the dolphins were known to “hang out”. We were each given a snorkel and a pair of goggles.
Once the dolphins arrived alongside the boats, our Guide began to yell, “Jump in, jump in!” We donned our goggles and snorkels as fast as we could and jumped into the water.
To my disappointment however, I realised that by paddling along the surface of the water, it was difficult to get a clear view of the dolphins below me, to which I so longed to be near. The swells kept obscuring my view not to mention the churning water from my husband’s kicking legs in front of me! I realised that in order to get a really good view of the creatures, I would have to take a deep breath and dive deeper below – away from the surface where I felt safe.
I took a deep breath and swam below the chaos above. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. Suddenly, all the noise of the boats, shouting guides and splashing was muted. The water was undisturbed and my vision cleared. I saw so many dolphins ducking and diving around us – one coming so close to my husband, he could almost touch it! I saw a mother with a baby beside her – a sight I won’t forget in a hurry. It was a surreal experience.
Later, God spoke to me about this experience. He showed me how so often we long to experience Him and get close to Him, but we do it in a very ‘safe’ and ‘controlled’ way. We ‘stay on the surface’ and are reluctant to let go of our “snorkels and goggles” in order to experience more of Him.
What are our “snorkels and goggles”? These could represent anything that keeps us from drawing nearer to Him or allowing us to be vulnerable in His presence – our status, job, religion, friendships, wealth, pride, fear, false beliefs, ignorance, apathy and more!
Sometimes, we don’t want to step away from ‘what everyone else is doing’ and take a risk of being different. Most often, it is just that we are content to be “on the surface” experiencing God in a limited, safe way, but in doing so, we are missing out on a whole world of experiences with Him.
God told me that in order to experience Him in an even deeper and more intimate way, I would have to “get in over my head”. I would have to let go, dive deep and let Holy Spirit completely saturate me. Only then, would I truly be able to see Him clearer. Only then, would the “noise” of the world be silenced so that I could perfectly hear His voice. Only then, would I discover more secrets and treasures He has hidden away just for me.
Go on, take a risk, dive on in with God and get in over your head!