I want to start off with a story. If you’ve ever been apart of serious competition, like sports or other activities, it’s likely you’ve seen Eric Tomas’ “success” story, but in case you haven’t here is how it goes.
The story is of a young man who so desires to be successful. The young man goes to an older, experienced man and begs him for help in being the best. The old man agrees and says that they must meet in the morning at the beach. The young man goes, although perplexed, willingly. And dressed in a business suit, with his briefcase he arrives at the beach first thing in the morning. When he gets there he sees the old man out in the water, motioning for the young man to follow. Of course, the young man complies. As the young man, fully dressed, enters the water, the old man begins to withdraw further and further into the surrounding tides. They finally stop when both are standing neck-deep, and can’t go any further without being fully submerged. The young man begins to ask why they are in the middle of the ocean, when just then the old man pushes the head of the young man underwater and holds him there. The young man starts flailing and pushing the water each way. He’s splashing and panicked, and just before he gives up completely, the old man lifts his head out of the water and releases the young man, now gasping for air. The young man, short of breath and frightened asks, “Why did you do that” to which to old man replies, “When you want to succeed, as much as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”
Now, I want us to take this story, not from the point of view of success, but from the point of view of desiring God.
“When you desire God, as much as you want to breathe, then you will have Him.”
But now, let’s go a step further, not just desiring God as much as the air we breathe, but more.
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
Please, let us take a moment to focus on something so vital for the rest of our lives. God IS our air. God IS our water. He’s our food, our blood, and our very beating hearts. He is every sustaining thing we are desperate for. God is all those things because, without Him, we wouldn’t have them. Without God, being so unbelievably gracious and merciful to us, we wouldn’t have water, air, food, blood, or a beating heart. It is only –and when I say that word, I mean it in the truest form– because God chooses to give it to us. We have nothing on our own. We are nothing on our own. Strictly by the will of the Creator, are we given the creation.
God is several times throughout the bible compared to a “light” that guides us through life. That thought is so mind-blowing; if we believe that He is our everything because He gives us everything, He is so much more than a spiritual light. He is physical light, a literal lamp, and real sunbeams, which allow us to see the screen in front of us, and the world around us. Now, really He gives us physical light, but without Him giving it to us, we would have no light at all. It is due to His gift that we can live, breathe, and see.
Without God, our soul is in complete darkness. It’s black and dead and empty… Without God, our physical bodies, which God gives us on loan, are dead, empty, and useless.
I believe that when we realize this, we can experience God in an entirely new way. Recognizing and understanding that we need Him more than the air we so desperately gasp for because it is only because of Him we have it, humbles us down to the necessity of an infant. We can do nothing on our own, we can’t survive on our own. Our lives, both physical and spiritual, are fully and entirely dependent on God and the free gifts he gives us. But that’s just it, He freely gives it to us, even though we are in no way deserving of it… and that is His love for us. His perfect, complete, and unconditional love for us.