Feeling Out of Your Element? You Are.


I find deep sea creatures fascinating – from a distance. I am a raging claustrophobic so I’d never make it into a submarine but I wish I could overcome that fear and have the opportunity to see giant squid, octopi or lantern fish in their own habitat. We have a lot in common.

Creatures that dwell in the deep sea are perfectly designed to survive in their surroundings. (Like us, when we become new creatures in Christ.) They have large eyes especially designed to see in the dark, lightless depths. (So, too, do followers of Jesus have eyes designed to see in dark, lightless places. Like Father Damien, a priest who volunteered to work, and eventually to die, on the Kalaupapa leper colony in Hawaii. He did not see disease, he saw human beings who craved the loving touch of God.) Deep sea dwellers are designed to glow in the dark – they have their own inner light that shines in the depths where no sunlight penetrates. (So, shines the light of Jesus-lovers. Reminds me of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who hid Jews from the Nazis, was eventually captured and imprisoned with her sister in a concentration camp (Ravensbruck), but was able to shine the light of Christ even there. Her sister, Betsy, died at Ravensbruck but not before she told Corrie, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.)

Sea creatures are beautiful and graceful when they are in their element. They were designed to live surrounded by saltwater – deep water that exerts immense pressure and helps to give these creatures their form and flow. (Followers of Christ are meant to abide in Him, our living water, and when we do follow Him into the deep heart of God we experience immense pressure but then we find our actual form and flow. We cease to flop about on the surface or deflate and rot on the shore gasping to breathe air we are not equipped to utilize.)

Feeling out of your element? You are. You were meant to dive deep, to travel deep, to dwell deep – salt, water, light, it’s in your re-born DNA. You can handle the pressure. It will shape you and free you. You were designed to breathe water – living water. Dive into the heart of God.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

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8 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    That was an excellant analogy…Thank you!

  2. Lori says:

    Hugely thought provoking post, Lori.

    It made me carefully consider why I’ve felt out of my element at times… yet I was comforted by your statement: “You can handle the pressure. It will shape you and free you.”

    I feel encouraged to dive deeper instead of getting out of the water when I’m floundering. 😉 Thanks.

  3. Mid Stutsman says:

    Lori, you always provide thought provoking articles… I love how you push us to “go deeper” with the Lord!!

    I have something for you on my blog… I hope you’ll accept it!!

  4. Sarah says:

    Love the analogy- It’s interesting, after lots of sick kids this winter I missed over a month of church. Upon returning to God’s people, worshiping, receiving communion- It filled my soul. Being with God in his house and worshiping with Gods people are a big part of being “in your element” when your a Christian.

  5. Jenn Convey says:

    I so identified with this. Thank you!

  6. I’m glad you could identify, Jenn. I live out of my element every day. I’m trying to develop a contentment and appreciation of that! 🙂

  7. Kathy Rexrode says:

    this was my week! this helps put it in perspective and reminds me to take it all to God for Him to use – and for me to cooperate with Him shaping me in new ways.