Stewards4Christ

May 31, 2008

Going Through Spiritual Caves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 8:43 pm

The comments below are from a newsletter I received this week from Kim Collingsworth (www.thecollingsworthfamily.com). These thoughts that Kim shared really encouraged me this week as I realized that I’ve been in a cave recently. I trust these words encourage you, the reader as much as they did me.

Many years ago, I recall taking a trip with my family to the state of Kentucky to a place called Mammoth Cave. As a child I hated caves! I remember the feeling of fear that I had as we begin to enter this big, dark, intimidating place. I was so scared. I remember as the tour guide led us deep into the cave, he did something very interesting! He turned the lights out completely to show us just how dark it could be in a cave. I remember holding my hand up and becoming petrified when I realized that I couldn’t see my own hand in front of my face. I vaguely remember wanting to hold onto my mother and daddy’s hands because I was terrified that I would get lost and not find my way out. It seemed like an eternity before the guide turned the lights back on. I will never forget it. It has now been thirty plus years since that seemingly insignificant event and I still hate caves! Oh, I’m sure if I went back to Mammoth Cave today the fear would probably not be near as strong and I could most likely handle it.

By now you’re probably wondering why in the world I’m even telling you this. Well, lately I have become aware once again that there are caves that we all visit from time to time in our spiritual walk. Caves sometimes of our own choosing, and then sometimes caves where we have absolutely no control over being there. None of us like spending time in the cave. It can be so dark. Maybe you’re in a cave because you’ve lost your health, your job, your finances are messed up, your children are breaking your heart, you’ve lost a good friend or family member to death, someone you love has disappointed you, your marriage is in trouble… and the list could go on. It’s when we’re in the cave that it becomes easy to question God and wonder if he has forgotten about us. It’s easy to quickly lose focus and start thinking thoughts that aren’t even reality.. “God where are you? Do you even know or care that I’m here?” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, hang on because you’ll find out sooner or later on this journey we call ‘life’. If you get a chance, read the story about David in the Bible. He was well on his way to success. Things looked really good for him.. He had killed a lion, a bear and even a GIANT! He was promoted from a little shepherd boy to one of the highest ranks in the land, and then it all came crashing down around him. King Saul got jealous and David had to run for his life. He ended up in a cave crying out to God for help! If you read the Psalms very often, you’ll notice that many times David was crying out, “Oh God, deliver me…” Interestingly enough, it’s these cave experiences that strip away our self-sufficiency and help us to see clearly that we don’t have what it takes to make it out there on our own! When we have nothing else to rely on except God, it’s then that we realize He’s the only one we can rely on!

Why is it that we run from these cave experiences? I guess it’s our humanness trying to avoid pain, but looking back in retrospect, usually good things happen while we’re in the cave. It’s there that we learn total dependence on our Father. No crutches or props to lean on, and all of the sudden we find ourselves zeroing in on the things that really matter. If we lived forever on the mountain top we would become spiritually spoiled rotten and an ungrateful lot. It reminds me of a song that the late Dottie Rambo wrote many years ago.. As a kid, I used to wonder why she would write a song that says, “Don’t take my burden or my cross away.” Now when I listen to this song, I think I understand just a bit of what she was saying… Listen to the chorus…

For I would grow careless and idle I fear

My eyes would be dry and I would never shed a tear

Lest I forget that I need you each day

Don’t take my burden or my cross away.

I love the mountain top, but I know we don’t always live there. May God grant us the grace and graciousness to appreciate the cave experiences knowing that they truly do help to make us into the people we need to be.

I love you all!

Kim

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