by Debora M. Coty @DeboraCoty
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1, NIV
I don’t like this cave I’m in. Not one bit.
It’s dark. It’s uncomfortably damp. And it smells like rancid mushrooms.
I feel terribly alone one minute, and the next, I’m not sure I’m alone at all. I think I can hear someone – or something – breathing. If I strain hard enough in the darkness, I can make out the shape of a man on the far side of the cave.
Still. Silent. Facing me.
I feel my skin crawl. But I’ve no one to blame but myself. I chose to come in here. I slipped into the cave of disappointment on my own volition. No one chased me here or forced me to enter. It just seemed the only place to go under the circumstances I was facing. Hard times. Heartache. Uncertainty.
So here I am. Hating the darkness and wishing I could find a way to escape this cave of disappointment. Disappointment over people I thought I knew and trusted. Disappointment in witnessing injustice and helplessly watching those I love suffer.
Disappointment with life itself.
I’m reminded of a biblical shepherd-king named David. He spent a lot of time in caves too. He was running from a man (Saul) he once trusted and even revered; a hand-picked-by-God king whom David had been honored to serve and comfort with music during his deepest emotional struggles.
A man who then turned on David and sought to take his life.
And so David fled to caves (documented in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel). Many different caves over the years. Many different disappointments. David was forced to live life on the run.
A cave-dwelling fugitive.
And there he must’ve shivered like me in the cold blackness, feeling the deep disappointments of life to the marrow of his bones.
The Cave is an awful place. It sucks light, joy, and hope right out of us. Drains us dry. Because it makes us overlook all the things we have to be grateful for, all the blessings of life that our Papa God has lavished upon us. Things we forget to notice when times get hard. When things don’t turn out the way we envisioned; when dear ones betray us and God seems silent. When we’ve lost jobs, security, mentors, friends, health, or the dreams we secretly nurtured.
And we cannot fathom the why of it.
We all spend time in The Cave. It’s where Papa God does some of His finest character-sculpting. The Cave is where He keeps his sharpest chisels and coarsest sanders. Where He meets us one-on-one, to shape and mold us into the beloved son or daughter He’s had in mind for us to be from the very beginning.
“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love” (Ephesians 1:4, MSG).
Mother Teresa, who spent quite a few of her precious years here on earth in The Cave, said, “You’ll never know Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you’ve got.” In her own barren cave of disappointment, she learned that when all else seems lost, He is enough. And He was.
You know, the more I stare through the murkiness of this cave, I can begin to make out the identity of the shape over there, patiently biding time, watching me.
It’s … why, it’s Jesus.
I get the feeling He’s been waiting there a long time for me to notice that I’m not alone. And now He’s drawing nearer. There’s a warm light radiating from His eyes. I think He’s got something in His hand. And He’s smiling.
About the author: Debora Coty lives, loves and laughs in central Florida with her longsuffering husband, Chuck, two grown children and four energetic grandbuddies. Debora is a popular speaker and award-winning author of over 40 inspirational books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series. Join Deb’s fun-loving community of BFFs (Blessed Friends Forever) at www.DeboraCoty.com.
Debora’s newest release, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms, addresses the heart needs of moms drowning in the churning stress-pool of busyness. In her beloved mom-to-mom, grin-provoking style, Coty offers empathy, laughs, real-life stories, practical parenting survival tips, and fresh biblical insights to help you hear Papa God’s still, small voice through life’s chaos.
Join the conversation: Tell me, dear friend, when did you last spent time in The Cave?