Swimming with the Manta Rays

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We often forget where the Holy Spirit resides. Are there places we can go where we'll be left all alone, without the help of His presence?

I’ll never forget the thrill of a lifetime: getting to hang on to my son’s side as he took me on a midnight swim with the manta rays off the coast of Kona, Hawaii. The guide on the boat took us to their seasonal hangout, and over the boat we jumped. With me hanging on to Jason for dear life, we swam to where these sea monsters were expected to congregate.

The midnight air was unruffled. The sound under the ocean surface spooked me profusely. Still. Quiet. Daunting. Vulnerable. My human-size body was soon to be enmeshed in their gargantuan pectoral fins and forward-facing mouths. These creatures are seldom seen, difficult to study, and rarely found in aquariums as most facilities are not large enough to house them.

Then it happened. Like a rush of prodigious ocean beasts appearing out of nowhere, they appeared. Shocked and out of breath, I observed. The peace of God came over me like never before.

We often forget where the Holy Spirit resides. Are there places we can go where we will be left all alone without the help of His presence? Is there anywhere we can venture where we are left defenseless against the creepy forces of this world? Psalm 139:7-10 shall forever have a new meaning in my heart. Yes, I’ve experience the reality of this truth in profound ways:

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from you presence? If I ascend to the heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in the grave, behold you are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, your right hand will hold me secure.

Take heart. No matter where you’re walking today, God is with you.

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