“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love; at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’ My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my god.” (Psalm 42:7-11)
This Psalm was written by the sons of Korah as they fled with David from Absalom. They were likely looking back in sadness at their home. They thirsted for God like a deer panting for water (Psalm 42:1), and they waffled between confidence and despair. Deep trials kept coming like the relentless waves of the ocean, and they called out from a place of profound need for God and his unfathomable greatness.
The “deep” in Psalm 42 is the word for abyss. An abyss is “a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or cavity.” It’s a “vast chasm” that “seems to be without end” or is “impossible to measure, define, or comprehend.” This word is used to describe both the writer’s great need and God’s great supply.
The deeper you experience despair, the deeper you understand God’s grace. The emptier you feel, the more you realize God’s ability – and desire – to fill the empty spaces within you. As you increasingly realize the greatness of your need and that of those around you, you discover that only God can meet those needs and that his supply is bottomless.
The abyss of your soul is more than met with the abyss of God’s greatness.
“Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out.” (Romans 11:33)
Knowing that God’s incomprehensible depths more than meets our despair, our emptiness, and our need, we can let ourselves be drawn deeper into the waters that is his wisdom and knowledge.