Verse seven of Psalm 42 says: “Deep calls unto deep.” Four beautiful words, they are! When I was younger, I never got the point behind those words. But when I got older, years after the diving accident in which I became paralyzed, those four little words began to mean something. When you’ve been through the storm, when you find yourself way in over your neck, you begin to understand how deep really does call to deep.
Charles Spurgeon once put it this way: “In proportion to your tribulations shall be your consolations! If you have shallow sorrows, you shall receive shallow graces; but if you have deep afflictions, you shall obtain the deeper proof of the faithfulness of God!” Wow! Don’t you love those words? They do not imply that you will understand your trials, or be able to make sense of them, but when you are in a deep trial, you will experience the depth of God’s faithfulness. Spurgeon goes on to say, “Deep, great trials bring with them deep, great promises! Christians who go through easier experiences will not understand this. They will not understand that trials are mighty enlargers of the soul! Without trial, we are contracted; we are narrowed, pent up, until we pray, ‘O Lord, enlarge my heart.’ Yes, but that spacious reservoir of God and His help can only be dug out by the spade of pain and trouble, then there becomes room for the overflowing promise!”*
Many decades of paralysis have taught me this. God has shown me that a great adversity will bring with it great grace to the believer. If He puts me or you to unusual suffering, He will give us unusual patience and help and hope. And I would agree with Spurgeon: “If as my days so shall my strength be, then let the days be long and dark, for so the strength shall be mighty, and God shall be glorified, and His servants shall be blessed!” Oh, friend, to me, that is valiant living; that’s bold and courageous living! I would’ve never chosen quadriplegia for myself, but since God wrote it into the script of my life, I will embrace it and I will not miss the shallows where life is only lived ankle-deep. I would much rather let deep call to deep where God’s strength is mighty, His promises are great, and His grace is anything but small.
If you are going through a dreadful deep, do not forget that there is another deep. There are deep promises, deeper ones still and there is a love in heaven toward you which will never grow cold. There is deeper grace, and a deeper experience of the Lord’s love. There is for you, a larger heart; a more spacious soul. Best of all, God will not leave you out in the deep end until you are safely landed on the other side.