I don't know about you, but caves freak me out!
In my mind, all forms of nastiness is found inside caves;
smells, drippy water, crumbling earth...its all bad!
|I do NOT want to go there!|
But lately, God has been showing me the good in caves.
Psalm 142 says, "A Psalm of David, when he was in THE CAVE. A prayer."
When he wrote this, he is surrounded by Saul's army; no escape in sight, desperate, afraid and confused.
Then David proceeds to pour out his plea to the Lord from within The Cave.
(Can you hear the desperation?)
With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!
In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O Lord; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.
Although we don't want to go there and we do all that we can to avoid those dark places, it is where God prepared David to become a King. He didn't put him in a Prep School for Kings. He drove him into the wilderness and into a cave, hunted by a mad man bent on killing him! Tough training!
But why the wilderness? That desolate, dangerous place where people go to die?!
Its where I imagine my GPS lady will direct me some day (because I'm pretty sure she hates me!) And one day, someone will randomly stumble upon my shriveled body crumpled next to my dirty, dusty car with blown out tires and everyone will ask, "What the heck was she doing WAY OUT HERE?!" Blame my GPS!
The cave in the wilderness is that place where we desperately cry out..."NO WAY, GOD...this can't be for me! There is no way that you would want me here, in this...!"
And yet, there you sit.
In a cave, in the wilderness, isolated, in the dark...there and only there...can He finally get your undivided attention!
It was only in the wilderness, inside a cave, where David learned to PRAY! He lost all his self-confidence and aspirations. He had no fancy words or animals to sacrifices, no temples, no priests or prophets. He couldn't DO anything. All he had left to do was pray. That is our training ground. That is where God wants us. He will drive us into the wilderness time and time again, if only to hear us cry out in our helplessness...
"With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord."
"When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!"
"I cry to you, O Lord; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.""
I wish there was another way that we could learn. It would be so nice if we could come to that place of complete submission and desire to draw close to the Lord without a dank, drippy, cave and 'the hounds nipping at our heals'. Unfortunately, we are stubborn by nature and really balk at going down on our knees...so He is gracious enough to help us out-;)
This morning, I was thinking about a friend who is in a hard place. It seems that she is being driven into the wilderness and my heart aches for her. I was crying out to the Lord to help her, remembering times when I was in similar situations and felt so very alone, its painful, hard work to be in those places! But, I'm forever grateful that it isn't in vain. Good will come. David needed that time to prepare his heart and soul to become king.
So take heart, friends! God is wanting to prepare us for great things too, if we will let Him...and get down on our knees. :)
In His love,