Jul 17, 2017

The Cave

David wrote Psalm 142 from a cave.  He was in a dark, desperate place...not just figuratively, but literally.  He was running for his life from Saul and it forced him into a cave to hide.  In the cave, he contemplates where life has brought him.  Look at the words that come from the depths of his soul. 

I cry out to the Lord;  I plead for the Lord’s  mercy.  I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my trouble.  When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.  Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.  I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!  No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.  Then I pray to you, O LordI say, “You are my place of refuge.  You are all I really want in life.  Hear my cry, for I am very low.  Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.  Bring me out of prison so I can thank you.  The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”

Perhaps today you find yourself in a cave like David was.  Perhaps it's...

a cave of discouragement...you've given your all and yet seem to be making no progress

a cave of despair...things have gotten so bad you wonder if there's any way out

a cave of defeat...what you hoped would work out for you has not

a cave of depression...joy has faded away and you can't seem to bring it back

a cave of desperation...you feel like you are hanging on by the last thread and it's about to break

a cave of damage...you have been hurt deeply...by those whom you trusted the most

a cave of disease...you're struggling physically and can't seem to get relief

a cave of difficulty...life has gotten hard and complicated

a cave of disappointment...you've been betrayed by those whom you trusted the most

a cave of dismay...you're emotionally drained

a cave of distress...you are so stretched you're about to break

a cave of doubt...it appears God has failed you and your prayers seem meaningless

The cave is not a fun place to be, is it?  I know, I've been there.  Wondering if I'd ever get out.  Looking at the faint light beams trying to penetrate the darkness, but not being able to make my way out to enjoy the sunlight outside the cave.   

If you are in a cave today or one day when you find yourself in a cave,  I encourage you to do what David did.  

PAUSE to remember that God is with you.  Look what David says in the cave.  

"Then I pray to you, O LordI say, “You are my place of refuge.  You are all I really want in life."

You may not feel like anyone is with you.  David had reached that point.  He said no one cares and no one will help me.  They've all forgotten about me.  But then he remembers that God is with him.  You see, no matter how dark and deep the cave is, God is journeying with you.  And perhaps, He has allowed you to go into the depths of the cave so your relationship with Him can go deeper as well.  Perhaps He is trying to help you see that all you really need in life is Him.  If you'll pause to ponder in the cave, as everything else is being stripped away, that God's presence is the source of true joy.

POUR out your heart to God.   Look what David says from the cave.

"I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my trouble..."

Though it may seem your prayers are making it no further than the cave walls, keep praying.  Continue pouring out your heart to God.  He is listening.  He sees every tear that falls from your eyes and hears every prayer that you mutter.

PUT your trust in God.  David had been betrayed by those whom he should have been able to trust.  But he is remembers that He can trust God.  

"Hear my cry, for I am very low.  Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me." 

Many times you'll find yourself in a cave because you've been betrayed by people whom you trusted.  People will let you down.  They will lie about you.  Try to bring you down because of jealously.  Turn their backs on you when you need them the most.  Betray you for personal gain.  And it will cause you to pull back your trust.  

Remember, you can trust God.  You can can trust Him and you can trust His promises.  He will not fail you.  

PATIENTLY wait for God to bring you out.   When you're in the cave, you see no hope of escape.  David puts it this way. 

"Bring me out of prison so I can thank you."

The cave feels like someone has locked you in prison and thrown away the key.  But be patient.  God will bring you out of the cave.  It may not be today or the next day, but He will bring you out.  You will see the sunshine again.  You will be filled with hope again.  You will smile again.  It just takes patience.  And it will be worth the wait.  So don't give up.  Let God use the cave to develop the strength of patience in your life.

PREPARE to share how God delivered you.  One day you will stand and share with others how God brought you out of the cave.  Check out the closing words of David in this Psalm.

"Bring me out of prison so I can thank you.  The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”

David looked forward to the day when he could share how God had brought Him out of the cave.  The people around him would look at what God had done in his life and declare His goodness.  God is going to take the cave you are in and use it to bring glory to His name.  One day you will share with others how God delivered you.  God is going to take your trial and use it as a powerful testimony.  God is going to turn your cave into a celebration of His mercy.  God is going to turn your darkness into delight.  God is going to turn your defeat into a declaration of His grace.  

Be encouraged today.  The cave is just part of the journey.  You will get out.

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