Today is Pentecost Sunday, and there are many metaphors for the Holy Spirit in the Bible, symbols and images which hint at His purpose in our world. Fire and wind (breath) are mentioned in Acts 2; the dove (symbolising peace and purity) is another iimage (Matt 3:13-17) and water is also mentioned (John 7).
For me, the day of Pentecost vividly reminds me of Ezekield 47, the image of an ever-deepening river. Jeremy Camp’s new album is called ‘Deeper Waters’, and the title song echoes both Ezekield 47 and 37 (probably the most famous chapters in the whole book.)
“Take me down to the deeper waters,
Gather ’round all your sons and daughters,
Put that life into our dry bones.” (Jeremy Camp, ‘Deeper Waters’)
Many of us are afraid of deeper water. My oldest granddaughter, who can swim competently, still wonders if she dare jump from the 1 metre diving board at the Metrodome because ‘it’s 3.8 metres deep there; what if I go to the bottom and can’t hold my breath long enough to get back to the surface?’ We are wary of deep water, recognising its power is greater than we are. Many people view the Holy Spirit with the same trepidation and wariness. “What if I don’t understand? What if I end up being ridiculed like the first disciples? What if I lose control?”
I personally love swimming and the freedom I feel in water. But I recognise that a fear of the unknown and a fear of losing control can hold us tightly in their grip. The Holy Spirit, whose arrival in power we remember and celebrate today, will not force Himself upon us. He waits to be invited in.
Jeremy Camp’s song goes on to say,
“Take me to the place where sweeter things grow,
Where once I’m there, I’ll never be the same,
Where nothing else matters and where I can let go,
‘Cause all I hear is You calling my name.” (Jeremy Camp, ‘Deeper Waters’)
Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith and ask for more of God’s Holy Spirit. He is all we need and we cannot live the life God wants for us without His overflowing presence in our lives.