Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Making Ends Meet (01/16/14)
- TITLE: Searching Deep Waters
By Matt Guddat
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I vaguely remember watching news headlines in the UK as a 6 year old boy. I was taken in by what some were calling “a historic event”. The 15 billion U.S. Dollar project took 6 years to complete and at its peak of construction employed a massive 15,000 people daily.
Figures and facts point towards its significance, but what ‘knocks me off my horse’ so to speak, is how it was done. Machines dug from France and England making the two ends meet precisely in the middle of the English Channel. An unbelievably engineered success. On December 1st 1990 men from either side of the tunnel embraced each other and shook hands. England and France were connected.
Almost twenty four years later, sitting on a beach on the north coast of New Zealand, my friend and I discussed the challenge of following God. We lay awake under stars wrestling with some of life’s ugliest questions.
As a child the map is simple. Follow God. As we age a number of variables turn that simple map into a quest to navigate Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Or so it feels.
Simple questions such as ‘why do good thing happen to bad people’ are replaced with ‘why did John have to die in a car crash, why did my children have to suffer abuse, why did my marriage fail?’ The answer is no longer a logical explanation. It’s personal now.
Storms had battered my friend and his faith was somewhat shipwrecked. It’s impossible to express through words how this makes one feel. What if my friend had a stronger relationship with his Master, what if he read the bible more?
The textbook answer doesn’t prepare you for the D-Day landing. When you get broken it’s another story. You have no mental preparation and life doesn’t stop to assess your spiritual maturity before it punishes you. It’s not fair.
I had no answer to offer my friend. No biblical exposition or comforting words.
Surfacing in the backdrop of my thoughts was the feat of the English Channel. The tunnel that connected two nations. Nobody believed the tunnel was an achievable goal. It was too expensive and too farfetched and idea. Yet as both parties dug through deep terrain they met in the middle.
Is it possible to draw a parallel between the two accounts?
The book of James states ‘come near to God and he will come near to you’ James 4:8 NIV. It’s a promise. While mans footsteps are small I like to think Gods are bigger. One small step for man, one big step for God.
I don’t know where you are at, how confident or weak you feel. But that’s okay. Before enlisting at your local ‘become a better person club’ may I suggest taking a step towards God. It could take humility, a change of attitude, a cry for reconciliation or a conscious prayer.
We all get hit hard. In one form or another it will come. Some call it a testing of faith. I don’t like that. It implies a survival of the fittest mentality and our God is a Saviour for the weak as much as anything else, for a ’bruised reed he will not break’ Matthew 28.20 NIV.
It’s not about who can weather the worst storm or brave the deepest chasm. It’s about two parties meeting in the middle. Take the first step I implore you. I don’t know how, when, or where, but He will come too. You may not see him wrestle through rocky terrain to break through to you, but He will. Emotions may council you otherwise, but all that won’t matter when you finally meet Him in the middle of deep waters.
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