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Periscope Depth
November 11, 2019, 2:40 PM

I must confess that I know very little about submarines, the ocean, or anything maritime. I enjoy going to the beach, as long as I can see my feet in the water, but that is pretty much the extent of my knowledge of the sea. The thought of being in a submarine on top of the water is scary to me and the notion of being in a submarine hundreds or thousands of feet underwater causes me to have a panic attack. Periscope depth is a comparatively more shallow depth and it’s the point at which the submarine is under the water but still able to raise its periscope in order to visualize anything on the surface. Obviously this depth is limited to the length of the periscope and may vary from vessel to vessel. As I understand it, a submarine, similar to an airplane requires a certain amount of air pressure inside to offset the pressure of the water on the outside. The deeper you go, the greater the external pressure thus requiring an even greater internal pressure. At periscope depth, somewhat near to the surface, the pressure is less than that in deeper depths. It is much safer at this depth also because you are able to see your surroundings. Sometimes in my faith walk, I feel like I stay closer to periscope depth because it’s easier and safer. There is less risk involved and I can see where I’m going. But God has not called me or you to live our lives as followers of Christ at periscope depth. He has called us to go deeper into the areas of the great unknown and search out the mysteries of His word and person.

He has called us to a deeper faith that requires us to trust in His guidance system. I don’t have the first clue about sonar but apparently it usually takes much longer to acquire the rate of speed and direction an object is going with sonar as compared to radar or plain sight. When we trust in God’s guidance it also means we must trust in His timing. It may take a little longer for us to get to where He is taking us but His way is always better. His thoughts are not our thoughts and even when we see things on the surface, we can easily miss what God is up to on a deeper level. We must trust and obey, living by faith and not by sight.

Also, as we follow God into a deeper faith, we can be assured that the pressure around us will increase. The Christians of the early church knew this truth quite well. The more they tried to live as followers of Christ, the more the world persecuted them. Take, for instance, Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13 are doing the work of the Gospel and sharing the Good News with the Gentiles after being rejected by some of the Jews. Verse 52 tells us that after Paul and Barnabas left, the disciples who remained were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. They weren’t filled because the persecution ceased. They were filled because they now had a faith that would not disappoint them. It’s that same Spirit that fills every believer and maintains the counter-pressure of the world and the enemy. As we go deeper, the pressure from the outside increases but the pneuma pressure increases in us making us able to endure and continue to go even deeper in our faith. There are beautiful things in the depths of the ocean that can’t be seen by those desiring to stay at the surface. There are amazing things God desires for us that we won’t experience until we dive deep into our faith.

Robert