By Tec Clark
I first heard this expression 28 years ago, from my mother, just as we completed our Open Water Diver course. When I became a scuba instructor, I heard this again and again from students who were overwhelmed by the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. So what is it about the underwater world that makes people feel closer to God?
Scripture tells us to “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8a NKJV). When we go into the underwater world, especially when scuba diving, we partake in an intimate exploration of God’s creation. Physically we must humble ourselves by putting on life-sustaining equipment, we are reduced to hand signals for communication, we calculate every breath and we calculate precisely how long we can be underwater. Once underwater we realize quickly that God is big and we are small, as we attempt to grasp all the life and activity around us. We give up our desire to control the natural world once we realize we are the observing, feeble visitor.
The natural world (creation) is a wonderful testimony for the existence of God. And, God can be glorified by our rejoicing in His creation. As C. S. Lewis writes in his Reflections on the Psalms, “The world rings with praise – lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game.” Also, Jonathan Edwards writes in his book The Works of Jonathan Edwards, “God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.”
When we behold firsthand the splendor of God’s aquatic creation, we must give God the glory and praise He is so worthy of receiving. Next time your are underwater recall the Psalmist’s words of praise and thanksgiving:
“O LORD, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.” Psalm 104:24-25
“For the sea is His, and He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:5