In June of last year, my husband and I went on vacation to Florida. We’ve been there before and I’ve spent a lot of time there, especially as a child. Both of us simply love everything about it.   During this particular vacation, we wanted to focus more on fun adventures rather than the typical relaxing on the beach or enjoying the hotel pool. Therefore, we stayed in a cheap motel between Miami and the Keys and we rented a car. Swimming with dolphins was the biggest activity on our agenda. However, the best experience there was actually an unplanned one. As we waited for our dolphin appointment, we noticed a little place that took people on snorkeling tours and since we had time to kill, we thought why not.

We signed up, got our gear and boarded the boat with the other eager tourists. The weather was absolutely gorgeous.   When we arrived at our destination in the ocean, the tour guide gave us a rundown on safety. Why he didn’t mention sharks, I’ll never know. Maybe they typically aren’t in that area, but you can never be too safe, right?  I had a bracelet on that had some sharp pieces though so I was prepared to use it as a weapon, if necessary. I have a special place in my heart just for the ocean, but I don’t play around when it comes to sharks. I guess I’ve seen my fair share of shark attack documentaries.   Anyhow, as my husband finished adjusting his flippers, I looked out at the water and wondered is there anything more beautiful and serene than this? It was absolutely perfect. My skin welcomed the hot sun and the smell of salt water was, as always, heavenly.

We finally jumped in together and began snorkeling. Immediately after taking my first look under water, I was blown away. Of course I knew it was filled with beautifully designed creatures and marvelous plant life, but getting to see some of them so up close and personal was magical. We saw clown fish with the most vibrant colors, giant lobsters, peaceful jellyfish and even barracudas with angry little human-like faces. Getting to be a part of their world gave me the most indescribable feeling, ever. It was like Finding Nemo in live action.

A few months ago, God was speaking to my heart about “leaving the surface.” In this, He reminded me of that snorkeling experience. He reminded me of my contentment with just sitting on that boat happily soaking up the sun before I entered into the water. I know this may sound so cliché, but if I didn’t leave the boat and go deeper, I wouldn’t have experienced all the life that was beneath the surface.

Sometimes we refuse to leave the surface and go deeper. Whether it’s due to fear, contentment or both, there’s always a reason. But when we don’t take that leap of faith and embrace the unknown, we miss out on more than what we realize. There’s so much more to this life. If we could see the spiritual things happening around us, our minds would be far beyond just blown. We’ve all been reminded of how short life is and yet, we still cozy up in it. We hold on tightly to our comfort here on this earth as if it were eternal. But God’s heart is for us to go deeper with Him. He wants us to be open vessels, geared up and ready to do anything He asks of us.

Just like in our snorkeling experience, there is so much to see and explore that isn’t visible from the surface. So much happens when you rise up and dive in.  That’s where the best blessings and the most powerful life lessons can be found. It’s also where the deepest intimacy with God lies.  He wants us to experience all that He has for us!

Today I encourage you step out in faith. Maybe you’re a Christian who is struggling with taking a risk God is calling you to take. Maybe you’re someone who’s been on the fence about surrendering your life to Christ or maybe you’re somewhere in between. Either way, leave the surface, my friends. It’ll be worth it!

The bible is rich in powerful wisdom, beautiful analogies and inspiring stories that help us to better understand God’s character and successfully grow in the midst of life’s ups and downs. There are so many scriptures that tie into what I shared today, but I will leave you with this one for now. 
 “For we live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
(Additional recommended reading:  If – by Mark Batterson)
I encourage you to mediate on them throughout your week. Study the context. In addition, pray for God to show you exactly how you can apply them to your life now. Nothing is too small for Him to use; you just never know what He’s up to! And as always, I am on this journey with you so let’s do this!