“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
This proverb uses the analogy of “deep water” to describe how challenging it is to gain access to the purpose and content of a person’s heart. It is a great analogy, because deep water is very difficult to explore without the proper tools and the skill to use those tools.
When I read this proverb, I immediately thought of the Mariana Trench, which is located in the Pacific Ocean and is 36,000 feet below sea level. It is the deepest underwater location on the planet. To put it in perspective, the Mariana Trench is more than a mile deeper than the height of Mount Everest.
The Mariana Trench is home to some of the most unique lifeforms on earth. But until scientists were able to develop underwater probes and submersibles capable of withstanding the pressure at that depth, we had no idea what kind of creatures lived there. Without the knowledge and skill to develop and deploy the proper tools, we were unable to explore the deep water of the Mariana Trench.
The same holds true for interacting with people. It takes great wisdom and skill to discover and draw out the content of a person’s heart. It takes great insight and understanding to discover what others really think. Only a person of wisdom will have the ability and patience to draw out someone’s deep thoughts.
Most people only look in shallow water. They don’t have the patience or wisdom to go deep with people. And most people lack the courage and wisdom to go deep with themselves.
Our hearts are deep chambers. God made us that way. We were created to love, hope, and feel deeply. However, sin has wounded us. It has damaged our hearts. We try not to feel as much because sometimes it hurts. We’re less open because we aren’t sure we will be accepted. We fear, so we hide it all away in the depths of our hearts.
This proverb instructs us on the importance of being around people of understanding. We need people in our life who are filled with God’s Spirit and who are able to draw out from us the deep waters of our soul.
At the same time, we also should strive to be these kind of people. We should pray that God will fill our fellowship community with people who love one another enough to dig into and draw out the depths of one another’s hearts.
Make no mistake: exploring the deep waters of the heart is a scary thing to do. Jeremiah 17:7 tells us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked above all things, so there is no telling what things might come up when we begin to plumb the depths of our hearts and the hearts of others. We should however love one another enough to pray for God to use us in each other’s lives to draw out what is in our hearts. And as we do this, we do it with great hope because we know that no matter what sins or fears are exposed, the love and the grace of God can cleanse them all and replace them with the promised fountain of Christ.
“Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 14:4)