When we meet people, we only see what they want us to see, and much can be hidden from our 'view'. Unfortunately, many people present well and say they are 'okay' but underneath that smile, much can be going on. The statistics of mental health in whatever form, are starting to emerge with extended lock downs due to Covid 19 and while many people are coping well or seeking assistance, many others are like the iceberg - hiding much from friends and family.
I have had the privilege and joy of teaching my two grandchildren Bible stories via Zoom, and I used the iceberg to illustrate these stories - Old Testament stories ( of course). As young children, only so much of the story can be relevant to the age group, but I point out that as they become older, they should take a deeper look at these stories and start asking the 'why and how' questions. There is so much depth and theology to these stories and searching for answers from the bottom of the iceberg helps us understand so much more, the greatness and love of God.
One Bible verse I taught them was 'God created people to be like himself' - rephrasing 'in his image' but explaining this was once again difficult. As my daughter is a doctor, I asked her to simplify the meaning of DNA for the children, so I could now tell them that God gave us some of his DNA so we can be part of his family, in the same way they are part of their own family. This may not pass a theological test but it seemed the easiest way for them to understand why God loves us and cares about us so much.
We may only see what people want us to see about them but of course, true friends start to ask the harder questions when they suspect things may not be as they seem.
In the same way, we need to keep asking the harder questions about God and his character, delving into the bible stories so that our relationship with God is not superficial, but goes much deeper, just like that iceberg.
And just like that part of the iceberg which cannot be seen but which supports the visible part, so a deeper relationship with God helps or supports us in life's journey of ups and downs. Praise God for his faithfulness!