I cry aloud to the Lord;
I plead aloud to the Lord for mercy.
I pour our my complaint before Him;
I reveal my trouble to Him.
Although my spirit is weak within me,
You know my way.
Along this path I travel they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see:
no one stands up for me;
there is no refuge for me;
no one cares about me.
I cry to You, LORD;
I say, “You are my shelter, my portion in the land of the living.”
Psalm 142:1-5 (written by David when he was in a cave)
The question posed today was ~ “Where do you go when life gets overwhelming?” Like David in Psalm 142, we all have our caves.
What cave is your escape? Where do you run to when things seem to come at you from all directions; when things aren’t going like you plan/think/hope? When other people’s lives or problems seem to overflow into yours?
Is it the cave of addiction ~ sex, drugs, alcohol? The cave of depression? The cave of mindless entertainment – a place to escape reality, not having to really having to interact with people? The cave of surface relationships? We all run to some place of escape and solitude. The real question is, do we “do” life in this cave; do we stay in this darkness?
Pondering these verses, I was reminded of my own caves, seasons where I felt like I had nowhere, no one to really turn to. Trying to keep all the plates spinning on my own, I was not doing it well at all. Life in the cave of denial beckoned me. Going there, I didn’t have to face what life was throwing at me; I could just pretend like everything was ok, even though it seemed as if everything was disintegrating all around me. The problem with hiding out in a cave is that the problems don’t go away, they only intensify. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually I became a walking shell of a person letting my fears and denials control my life, living in the darkness.
I turned to the only place I knew ~ my Abba Father. His Word, His Truth. Crying out, I did question God. I did ask “Why, God?” Pleading, I cried for His mercy. I poured myself out to Him. I stopped playing the ‘blame game.’ Yes, others’ actions, consequences, and their words did affect my life. But I had made my own choices of how I responded. I admitted my own weaknesses and my fears and my vulnerabilities. This is the only way He could fill me with His strength. And just like my earthly dad does when I walk through his door, my Abba Father welcomed me with open arms.
I realized I couldn’t go anywhere and be out of the reach of my Father. I couldn’t hide in a cave, or lose myself in the darkness of denial and regret. HE is calling out to me in a whisper, “What are you doing here?” That still, small voice. There is no yelling or screaming or pointing fingers at me. Just as I have experienced during different times in my life with my own precious dad, there is only loving-kindness.
He called me out of the cave, out of hiding. “I didn’t make you for the darkness, for hiding. I made you for more!”
The difference is found in Christ, not the cave.