Right now, I feel like I am in a cave. You know what I mean, for you have been there too. Maybe you are in your own cave right now. You came here initially of your own volition because it was the only avenue of escape. So many dangers have oppressed you that there wasn’t any other choice.
What are those oppressive forces? Perhaps they are outward: Finances, employment, or relationships. Or maybe it is your own body, mind, or emotions, as you deal with pain, loss of control, or fear. All of these mount up against you like an army, and you run to your cave.
This isn’t a cave of safety or peace. It is a human den that wraps around you, like addiction, denial, or depression. Still, you know those outer forces remain and they are advancing toward your hideout. Your place of imagined safety becomes a jail without escape.
We all experience this at some point, even spiritual leaders. King David from the Bible talks about this very thing. He was backed into a literal cave by some evil people. Yet he is able to write poetic lyrics to a song in the darkness.
“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed…” Psalm 57: 1 (NIV).
David knew where to allow his spirit to find real safety: under the “wings” of God, totally enveloped in His presence.
After entering God’s presence, through prayer, he then cries out to the only one, ultimately, who can provide vindication. David says he is “in the midst of lions,” (v.4), yet despite this predicament, he praises God.
We know through scripture that the Lord protected David and brought him out of this situation. But this song doesn’t tell us that. All we see here is that, in the middle of a life and death situation, David continues to trust in God and to praise him.
David writes: “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.” Psalm 57:7-8 (NIV).
Not only does David continue to aver his trust in the Almighty, he sings his praise in the dark of night. He doesn’t wait until he is safe and sound, he doesn’t even wait to see if he is still alive at daybreak. He praises God right in the middle of that cave, singing about God’s love, faithfulness, and glory
How are you doing, right now, in your cave? Are you praising now or waiting to see if God comes through for you before opening your mouth?
I have been convicted by the actions of this man who crouched in a small, dark, wet, smelly place, and praised God. The Bible also tells of Paul and Silas, singing to the Lord in jail before their chains fell off. Another reminder of the power of praise and the faithfulness of the Almighty.
Do I wait to see if God will bring me through this time before I go to him for comfort, safety, or vindication? He has done it before and he will do it again. I know this, but I need to be reminded, so he leads me to his word to relearn the lesson.
My Lord will lead you and I out of our stifling caves, and into a spacious place, if we look to him for guidance.
For I know that, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,” Psalm 23:6 (NIV). Not only is his goodness and love following me, it is running after me, surrounding me and filling me.
I know his love will bring me out of that cave, back to green pastures. I hope to meet you there.
By Lorraine Walker