Rolling in the Deep:
This Doesn’t Feel Like Love
“Rolling in the Deep”, what does that mean anyway? Imagine you find yourself alone in the wide-open expanses of a seemingly bottomless ocean. A storm is brewing and the waves toss in its fury. Billow after billow washes over you, kicking to stay afloat you struggle to find your head above water. Gasping for air, you seem to only be swallowing more and more of the very thing that has engulfed you. Tossed in every direction, panic, anxiety, and stress flood through your mind causing you to thrash harder. This extra exertion only serves to bring more exhaustion and depletes what little oxygen is remaining in your system. You are now fighting a losing battle and before you know it, you have nothing left to give.
Originally, rolling in the deep was an allusion to the disorienting and overwhelming feeling that one would experience should they find themselves subjected to the overpowering strength of the sea. This feeling is one of swirling emotions, overwhelming distress, and the feeling that at any moment one could succumb to the situation in which they find themselves. On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, the colloquial phrase has also become an expression that describes the depths of love, along with the ethereal, disorienting, and uncontrollable power of its effects.
There are a plethora of circumstances under which people begin to feel as though they are beginning to be tossed about helplessly. Be it finances, relationships, careers, or any other number of things, it is easy to begin to feel like life is a bit too much. Rolling in the deep, they become frantic; desperate to bring change, they find themselves powerlessly subjected to whatever is handed to them. In this frantic state, they struggle against a force much bigger than themselves. Pridefully they believe that they have the strength to change their own fate.
It is not until exhaustion takes over that one realizes that they are not up to this challenge. This situation is too strong, too daunting, and too big for a human. Then what? This is where the movies cut to the scene of a man crying out to God in a last-ditch effort to save himself from whatever precarious situation in which he finds himself. That seems to be the natural progression of the human nature: do it yourself, figure out that you cannot do it yourself, cry out to God, watch God do it. Only, what if God does not swoop in and calm the raging seas? What if He does not drop in and make it all vanish? What if every problem is not solved with one magical wave of His hand? What then? Is God not listening? Does He not care? Does He not love you? Is He not able?
The questions begin to swirl and again one finds themselves immersed in an emotionally exhausting state of confusion. What is going on?!?!?! Just before falling to the ground in a melodramatic act of self pity, but just after bawling ones’ eyes out and swearing to quit life altogether, a voice interjects, “Nothing has changed, because this is exactly where I want you. I love you and I’m allowing you to walk through this for your own good.”
By allowing a person to experience more than they can handle, they come to the end of themselves and the beginning of Him. It is in those moments that His children are sharpened, refined, and crafted into His instruments. It was L.B. Cowman that said,
“A bar of steel worth five dollars, when wrought into horseshoes, is worth ten dollars. If made into needles, it is worth three hundred and fifty dollars; if into penknife blades, it is worth thirty-two thousand dollars; if into springs for watches it is worth two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth this! But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passed through the fire, and beaten and pounded and polished, the greater the value.”
Life circumstances become a training ground. Alone, a person will be hopelessly tossed in the wind and waves. In Him, they learn to rest. They learn to float. They learn to abide in His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Circumstances will come. God did not say, “come to me and I will guard you from everything that you do not want to deal with”. He said, “come to me and I will give you rest”. The need for rest always comes as the result of an exertion. He never promised to shield his followers from the source that necessitates that exertion, He simply promised to bring them rest in its midst. In fact, Paul stated, “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Again, in Romans Paul says, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).
Believers of the Christian faith have not been deceived into accepting a faith that hid its struggles. Paul made plain the struggle that a calling to Christ would entail. He says time and time again that in life there will be trials and tribulations, but he is quick to follow with, “but in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” He states clearly that excessive burdens, unto death, were not an uncommon occurrence, but explains that it was so that “we would not trust in ourselves”.
You, believer, have been called to the same struggle, the same war, and the same responsibility. The harvest is plenty, the workers are few. The work that you are called to is plentiful and only a well-trained servant can handle the load. Upon finding yourself in a distressful situation, will you run and hide? Or will you abide in God, dwell in His peace, partake of the fruits of the Spirit, learn from Him, and rise to a new level. Life as a Christian is not about hiding behind the Lord from the struggles of this world. Quite the opposite, life as a Christian is about displaying the glory of God in the face of the struggles of this world.
Stand strong, you may be in a place of struggle, but you can be assured that by allowing the Lord to craft you, He is molding you into a servant that is capable to display His presence in any situation. The moment you submit to His process, you will transition from the person who is rolling in the deep of distress and peril, to the person who is rolling in the depths of His Spirit. He longs for you to experience the ethereal, disorienting, and uncontrollable power of abiding in Him.
-by T. Salagalli