(this is a personal description of many dark days after loosing our home to a fire in 2003 but a beginning of a journey that would be a refiner's fire for me; giving me strength yet to face more dark days to come.)
When I first entered the cave, it had a night manager, two levels of compartments, an ice machine and cable TV. We had escaped, found temporary shelter and would now wait until the "all clear" sign would rise again. The Season of Harvest was upon us, but my fields were burned now. The building up of worldly wisdom and independence from the Source had allowed an ignition, a spark of self to enflame this vanity I could not let go of. Clinging on with both arms left me without hands in which to touch the Wisdom of the Ages, to embrace the Spirit of Peace. My voice would speak of faith but unmatched to my heart. My trespasses would keep me afar. Now I am a cave dweller, left to leave my etchings on the wall.
James 1:7-8 For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
We would migrate from cave to cave, the children restless, unable to mask their disappointment. The unfamiliar ground and steps into personal space took its psychological toll. The caves would become darker, damper, infested with vermin visible in daylight; slithering in at night. One child chose to stand guard over the ashes and cling to familiar ground and familiar routine. The other child, already numb from disease, raged against the reality of cave dwelling; his etchings at times overtaking my own.
I Samuel 22:1a So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam…
Psalm 13:1-2 How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul? Having sorrow in my heart all day?
The rains came; the flood streams washed away known paths. The journeys began to increase for the sick child, finding peace only in an institutional cave, but still a cave; the poison flowing more directly into his veins.
Psalm 61: 1-2 Here my cry, Oh God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the Earth I call to you when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
I found God's light around a corner of the cave one day. I would find myself spending more time there, basking in His sunshine. My etchings became journals full of scripture and prayer and blessings. One hand was feeling the scar in the center of his palm and our fingers became entwined. The music vibrated off the lichen-covered cave walls. The darkness began to lift. The cave would not change, the vermin still around, but this cave dweller would find new strength.
Psalm 28: 6-7 Blessed be the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him; and I am helped. Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.
Coming out of the cave would take a new faith, empowered through Christ, personally. The previous shelter which had taken up so much space in my heart would not be made whole for us to boast in. Obedience would allow for a step out of the cave and into trust and a realization of purpose. One child would go on to find that same purpose in Glory with the Father; his healing only coming when God took him home, an address now in Amazing Grace. The strength to endure that pain came from the Comforter's echoed calls through the darkness reverberating in my soul. One child would walk away from the ashes he felt responsible for and rebond with family and regain self-worth; the cave only a faded memory. I await his own etchings for I know they are hidden in his heart.
Isaiah 40:31a Yet those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength…
To live in a cave is a depressing, lonely, damp place where sometimes God takes you to prepare you for His purpose. Once we enter in, we can see in the dark if we know where to look. God will shine His light, showing the way out, revealing His divine purpose.
I Peter 1:7 …that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Have you had a time in your life when you felt unsettled, felt like a wandering Israelite looking for the promised land or in the "pits" for a season knowing you were going to come out only after being honest with yourself and God? Please share.