Several years ago our family was blessed with the opportunity to vacation in Hawaii. We enjoyed this time away from the hustle and bustle of home, relaxing in the peaceful atmosphere of the island. One of the things that I truly enjoyed was swimming in the warm waters of the tropical Pacific. I had never snorkeled before and was excited to try it. But, as I first entered the water leaving the safety of the shore, I felt some apprehension. What was awaiting me beneath the waves? Were there dangers in the area of which the other swimmers were unaware? My excitement, however, outweighed my fear and I continued in. 

As I swam across Honolua Bay on the island of Maui, I carefully dipped my face in the water to view the scene below me. Wonder and amazement filled me as I witnessed the activity beneath the surface. There were hundreds of colorful fish darting in and out between the coral only yards below me. Some were playfully chasing each other while others were simply going about their daily business. The size of the fish also surprised me. I had expected to see tiny, 2-3 inch fish such as the ones in the aquariums in pet stores. But no! The fish I saw were several pounds each. There were Yellow Tangs, Brown Chubs, Angel Fish, Trigger Fish, (known by the Hawaiians as the "humuhumunukunuku─üpua╩╗a") and more. They were all so beautiful that I wanted to get closer. I held my breath and dove deeper. To my amazement, the underwater world I had been watching from above seemed totally changed from this new perspective. Rather than being an observer on the surface, I was part of this underwater world. The fish swam all around me, seemingly unafraid of this foreign intruder. From my new vantage point, I could see areas that had been hidden before. A striped eel peeked its head out from between some rocks and a sea turtle gracefully sailed by me. I remember thanking God at that moment for allowing me to share in that part of His creation. Later, reflecting on all I had seen and done, I was also thankful that I had taken that first step off the shore, and even more, I was thankful that I dove below the surface.

So often in life we are content with being observers. We feel comfortable in the perceived security of our world and of what is familiar. We fear the unknown and all that comes with it. But, if we never take that step of faith, we will never experience all the blessings that God has waiting for us, and His plan for us will not be lived out. I love the quote that says, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for” (William Thayer Shedd). God created us to have a relationship with Him and to show His glory. Why then, do we not trust that He will enable us to do all He says? “So don't be afraid: I'm with you… every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.” Isaiah 43:6-7

I feel like I have been floating on the surface of what God has waiting for me for far too long. I don’t want to miss what He has planned for me. As I enter this stage of my life, I am no longer content to merely be an observer of the faith. It is my desire to go deeper with Him. I long to be part of what He has planned, not simply to watch it from a “safe” distance or view His plan from the surface. I want to step out in faith and draw closer to Him, knowing that as I do so, He will be with me. “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (James 4:8). I pray that God grants me the courage to fulfill this longing. 

Going deeper, 

Linked with:  Thankful Thursdays,  Faith Filled FridaysFellowship FridaysWomanhood with Purpose and Spiritual Sundays


  1. Charlotte DitmoreOctober 05, 2012

    Wow, Joan, what a good analogy. I've been to Hawaii twice but never went snorkeling. After reading this I wish I had. I did enjoy getting in that nice warm water though. I had only been in the Pacific Ocean in CA and it is always cold. Thank you for sharing this delightful post.

  2. Thanks, Charlotte! It is amazing what we can see and learn when we dive below the surface! Thank you for hosting Spiritual Sundays!

  3. friskychileOctober 06, 2012

    It can be very challenging to step out of our comfort zones into an uncomfortable situation or circumstance with complete faith and trust. Thankfully God is by our side, gently nudging us to trust and obey! I pray for more courage too!

    Blessings Joan!

  4. ...and when we listen to that nudging, we will always be blessed! Thanks for stopping by today, Denise! In Him, Joan

  5. Pamela KuhnOctober 06, 2012

    I've been praying for a deep walk with God. I'm so hungry for it. And trying to listen carefully to obey even the slightest nudge. I love my comfort zone and am determined to get out of it for God.

  6. Hello Joan,you have a beautiful place and good encouragement I did enjoy my visit.

  7. It's that first step that is the hardest! I love how God nudges us...

  8. Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you were encouraged!


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