The cover of snow has melted and revealed a couple of large holes in my landscape. It reminds me of the sinkholes you hear about around the world, it seems like Florida makes the news once in a while for this phenomenon. In fact, there is an area in Florida called sinkhole alley. It’s usually a couple of factors that play into the event. Generally, an underground water source with some movement to it. That combined with some unstable soil slowly erodes the soil away and eventually it all gives way.
There is an internal force and an external force. The internal force is the soil that keeps the surface, well, at the surface. When this begins to erode it can keep it’s shape for a while. In fact, the facade might keep it’s shape for a long while. The longer it’s able to hold, the bigger the sink hole can become. Eventually the externals are changed dramatically and what was once hidden, is there for everyone to see.
It really is a metaphor for life. We can have a facade, an external presentation of our life. A presentation that’s propped up by a lot of things all the while turmoil inside our heart eroding our character, good decisions, and the person that we have been. Sometimes you look at the drastically bad choice someone makes and wonder what could have happened. A sinkhole, a life propped up with good intentions, but the storms overwhelm our heart, and we wonder what happened. It’s why the Bible invites us to examine our hearts, to discover the sink hole before it becomes a problem, let it be filled with Christ, propped up on the inside by the omnipotent God of the universe!!
I think many of us have experienced some version of the sink hole. Maybe it’s the full crash, maybe the awareness of a pending problem or staring into an abyss that we know deep down shouldn’t be like this. In the 16th Century St John of the Cross spoke of “the dark night of the soul.” Ironically the philosophical explanation of this phrase might cause the phrase. The shorter version is more like a soil so dry it can’t absorb any moisture. A spirit so dry that it seems like we just can’t get back to a place we once knew spiritually. That takes me to the Prayer for the Ephesians 3:14-21…
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
The “dark night of the soul” and the prayer here feel like polar opposites. Sinkhole filled with all the fullness of God. Problem solved; crisis averted!! May you and I be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God today and every day.