In the summer of 1991 I had the privilege of going on a missions trip to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Yes, I know, someone had to suffer for Jesus on this trip! Why not me?
Further inland, behind the blue/green ocean and white, sandy beaches were people who needed to know the love of Christ. We did the “normal” missions trip stuff like door to door witnessing, sidewalk Sunday school for the kids, puppet shows, and human videos. And thanks to my friend, Jon Reichert, it is a trip that I can view at anytime on my television.
One of the great things about going on a missions trip is that you get to enjoy some of the scenery for a day or two. One day in particular we had the opportunity to go snorkeling. This was a first for me. To be honest with you, I hate being too far out on the ocean. I blame the movie “Jaws” for my fear of the deep, dark sea! But, I was amongst many friends and I could see the bottom so it felt fairly safe.
After putting on my flippers, mask, and snorkel we were advised to spend a few minutes swimming around the boat so we could get used to our new equipment. Once we felt comfortable enough we could venture out further and take in the view below Buck Island Reef National Park.
Wow!! My friends and I were so awestruck by the beauty down below that we did not realize just how far out the current was taking us. It wasn’t until we noticed that the water went from being clear to a deep, dark blue that we had somehow gone past the end of the park. I have to admit that I was a little scared.
Okay, I was really scared!! The music to “Jaws” began to play in my head and I swam as fast as I could back to the boat. However, once I re-entered the crystal clear water I began to feel safe again.
I wonder how many of us are content to have snorkeling faith?
It’s easy for us to float along enjoying the view that we can easily see. But, it’s an entirely different thing to become a scuba diver of faith.
I believe that there is a point where we all get our feet wet in our faith. We step out into some calm waters and enjoy the safety of knowing the boat is near and that we can see the bottom. But, as time goes on in our journey of following Christ I believe that we need to ditch our snorkeling gear and learn to become scuba divers.
Going deep into the unknown waters is very scary. There has to be an absolute trust in our guide. There are many legitimate fears to overcome. I have never been scuba diving, but I have friends who have and what they see far below the surface they say are some amazing sights that you cannot see while skimming the surface in snorkeling gear.
God is calling all of us to go deeper. He is calling us to trust Him. Going deeper with God is the only way that we will see the amazing things He wants to show us. Scuba divers are still finding new species of fish all of the time. The deeper that they go the more they discover.
The deeper that you and I go in our walk with Christ the more that we discover about Him. There is no end to His beauty and there is no end to Him. There are greater things to be done. There are greater miracles to be seen. There is more greatness to God than we can ever imagine.
Will you snorkel or will you scuba dive?
Jamie Zirkle currently resides with his wife and son in his hometown of Winchester, VA. He is licensed with the Assemblies of God. Jamie continues to serve as a lay leader in Victory Church while he waits on God to open the next ministry opportunity for him. You can read more articles from Jamie at his blog (http://jamiezirkle.wordpress.com/) and connect with him on LinkedIn