“I cry out to the LORD with my voice; with my voice to the LORD I make supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.” ~ Psalm 149:1-2 (A prayer of David when he was in the cave hiding from the relentless pursuit of Saul)
Perhaps you’ve never had to run for your life and hide in a cave, but there is a chance you’ve done a bit of cave dwelling in your time.
I know I have.
In this dark place of waiting, while crying out to the Lord, pouring out my complaint before Him (v. 1-2), there have been times when it seems as though all I hear is my own voice reverberating throughout the confining walls.
When it comes to cave experiences, I am tempted to succumb to the pressing darkness, to grow quiet in the dreariness and cold, and become weary “declaring before Him my trouble” (v. 2-3). Waiting of any sort is never much fun, but waiting in the darkness, when you don’t know when it will end, has the tendency to get on your nerves.
Even so, it seems to me that cave experiences may not only be necessary, but transformational. In scenic, wide-open places I have a greater capacity to lose sight of God and “go it alone.” When trouble comes (and it inevitably does), despite my best intentions, I’ve been known to run to other places of refuge.
In seeking the solace of some temporal hiding place we, as David, soon find it fails us. Paradoxically, this is part of the cave experience: the journey to find the true hiding place – the place where we may be changed.
When in the cave, there is the temptation to give in to the villainous lying voice of the enemy’s “I told you so’s.” However, we must remember, as David did, that God is our refuge and our portion in the land of the living (v. 5). David believed that although his physical place of refuge had failed him and no one cared for his soul (v. 4) that God would still deal bountifully with his soul (v. 7).
David hadn’t lost hope and neither should we.
Through distress, disillusionment, discouragement, darkness, when your spirit is overwhelmed within you, take heart! Whatever cave-like conditions you may be presently experiencing, being in the cave is not a permanent address!
It is, however, conducive to inactivity, a promising prayer enabler, and has a way of simplifying things. Despite the darkness – by way of displaced distractions – things eventually grow startlingly clear and conditions become ripe for transformation.
Although difficult, thank God for the cave. It has the potential to be a place where you find yourself sitting, resting, listening, and lingering in the true secret place – longer than you might otherwise – where your enemy cannot find you!
May the cave be a place where afterwards you glance back and realize that, although dark, it was, in fact, a holy place where God sat close beside you.