Blame it on being a latch key child in the 70s and 80s, but I enjoy watching television. There, I said it. #dontjudgeme I don’t always engage in my favorite past time during the week, but if my schedule allows, I play catch up during the weekend. I got sucked into a show called “Below Deck” on Bravo. It chronicles the lives of a crew working on a private yacht. I found a few episodes entertaining, but of course the Holy Spirit, (I suppose we are on speaking terms again – see last Monday’s blog) wouldn’t allow me to just enjoy watching mindlessly; I received impartation. Let me pause to say that the yacht is absolutely stunning, gorgeous, amazing and the like. The crew is responsible for ensuring that their guests have the most incredible vacation, by any means necessary. Often the guests make outlandish requests, and it is the crew’s responsibility to respond affirmatively. Atop the deck, everything appears perfect and responsive, yet below deck, one is able to really see the struggle, the panic, the challenges, the disagreements and the hustle to make dreams, realities above deck. So, back to the Holy Spirit. I heard, “God desires to have a below deck relationship with you.” The surface is good for those who care more about aesthetics than anointing. The heavy lifting happens below deck.” Whew. Just minding my Saturday business, watching television and God just trampled all through my heart and mind.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the relationship I am afforded with God. For the most tangled the test, the more adoration and assurance I develop for God. The very circumstances that have troubled me the most, propelled me to my knees to call upon the Name of the Lord like never before. Would I have done so otherwise? Likely not. So then we come to the realization that suffering is actually for our good. Psalm 119:71 reads, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” You see during the show, as the guests asks for a particular meal, or an excursion, it is up to the crew to respond to the best of their ability. As the guests bask in the sun, enjoying the beautiful water and views, below deck the crew is moving swiftly, brainstorming and attempting to respond to the expectation. Similarly, we ask God for the desires of our heart, but we can’t receive without seeking Him first. Even as we navigate troubled waters, we must know that beneath the surface, in the crevices that are untraceable to our human understanding, there God is, below deck, working to respond to us, meeting us at the point of our need, with grace, and mercy and favor and blessing. Beneath the scenes of our lives, it may not be pretty, but it is purposeful. God will not allow us to sink, but instead, He is teaching us to depend upon Him, and to anticipate and expect Him to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all, that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
Unlike the private yacht, with God we have been granted access to the entirety of life. Yet, the only methodology that will enable smooth sailing, is to ride with God below deck as He loves us through our dirt, grime and disarray. Because of Jesus and the blood sacrifice made, when God looks at us, He sees us as an above deck individual. Despite the wrong we’ve done, He still loves us….below deck, above deck, on the water, on land, et al.