– James H. Aughey
When my son and my nephew were very young and they didn’t know how to swim, I brought them to the edge of the deep end of the pool. I could have read to them out of a book, “How to Learn to Swim,” but there is no teacher like experience. The way to learn how to swim is to jump into the pool, so that’s how they learned. I told them that I was there for them if they began to sink and would bring them up out of the water if they floundered. Neither of them did. They were both so excited to learn how to swim that day. I brought them into the deep end of the pool, not to drown them, but to teach them how to swim. In a similar fashion, God will bring us into the deep waters, not to drown us, but to cleanse us, and instead of it being water, we are brought into the overwhelming flood of Jesus’ blood to be cleansed once and forever (1 John 1:7). What a glorious thing!
Washing of the Word
Paul uses the analogy of the Word as being a way to be washed or cleansed (Eph 5:26). During the foot washing where Jesus washed the disciples feet, He declared that they were already cleansed, even before Jesus had gone to the cross (John 13:10). The Word of truth, the Bible, sanctifies us (John 17:17). The psalmist used the example of water in writing about how someone can be cleansed, and it’s by taking heed to the Word of God (Psalm 119:9). The washings of the Old Testament sacrifices prefigured the washing of water for purification (Heb 9:9-10), which pointed to the coming washing by the blood of the Lamb of God and baptism, which is symbolic of our death and burial and being raised to new life in Christ (Heb 9:14).
God Breaks to Fix
I was so full of myself before I was saved, so God had to humble me by bringing me to jail because God cannot fix what is not first broken. Only then could God finally start to wash or cleanse me by the “the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Until we humble ourselves before God, He is at enmity or war against us (James 4:6), so we must cleanse our hands and purify our hearts by confessing our sins, repenting, and putting our trust in God before He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Unless we are born of the water and of the Spirit, we cannot enter God’s kingdom (John 3:5). If you have believed in Christ, then you are already clean before God because of the Word (John 15:3). God never forces Himself on anyone or moves against their will, but truly God brings men and women into deep waters, not to drown them, but to cleanse them, and cleansed they shall stay!
God allows trials in our life so that we might seek Him! If circumstances bring us into a closer relationship with Him, then the deep waters have done their work. God may use trials as bridges over troubled water, but He will bring us through it, and even over to the other side someday (Rev 20:1-5).