Ah, Spring. You’ve been a long time coming.
The day was perfect as I walked the neighborhood. The depth of the sky’s blue called me. Azaleas bloomed in vibrant bush bouquets. Every bird’s choral rendition opened to their unique song page. Bright shades of green burst all around.
I walked and prayed, my senses overwhelmed. Yet with all the stunning beauty around, my petitions focused more on worry, dread and…me.
That morning, as I followed my path, I realized that perhaps my fears revolved not as much around the uncertainty of what lay beyond the twisted bends, as in the trepidation of ensuing darkness which may or may not be waiting.
I’m afraid of the dark, I realized.
That smothering blackness I’ve faced on yesterday’s road terrifies my tomorrow road. I know what dark looks like, and I don’t want to be in that black cave again.
David also experienced darkness. King Saul’s unrelenting pursuit of the future King of Israel had one intent. He wanted David dead. Life had become a daily battle for survival. Enemies bent on unjust treachery surrounded him. His future looked dim. David poured his heart to God in Psalm 57 while he hid within the depths of a dark cave.
“My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords. “Psalm 57:4 ESV
David indeed had been handed a difficult and perilous road. Yet, within the shelter of a shadowy rocky cave David also found refuge. He recognized he wasn’t alone in the dark.
“For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.” Psalm. 57:1 NKJV
At some point in every cave, the guide turned off the lights to demonstrate complete darkness. There we would stand, under ground grouped together, wrapped in silence, waiting for our eyes to adjust. But there was nothing to adjust to. Complete darkness left nothing to see at all. I shivered with the thought of “what if the light didn’t come on again?”
Jesus does not leave us that way.
He is light.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” John 8:12 ESV. And again in John 9:5, “I am the Light of the world.” Yet another time, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness,” John 12:46 ESV.
Nor did the Lord allow darkness to overcome David.
Black caves are everyone’s experience at some time. As you read this, your mind might quickly take you to that place in your memory. You know what it’s like being in a place where darkness is so thick it can be felt. You might be there now. Perhaps you sense its dark approach. Maybe, like me, there is only dread of what could be beyond the bend in the road.
Maybe you too are afraid of the dark.
David’s cave, although a dark spot, became a blessing. There despite its lack of light, with eyesight blinded:
- He declared God his refuge…”for in you my soul takes refuge.” (Verse 1)
- He discovered purposeful suffering, “…God who fulfills his purpose for me.” (Verse 2).
- He chose to worship, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” (verse 5 and 11)
- He affirmed the steadfastness and faithfulness of God. “For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” (Verse 10)
My own reckoning with fear of the dark reminds me my Light is brighter than any darkness.
David’s cave experiences didn’t begin nor end in Psalm 57, (Psalm 34, Psalm 142; 1 Samuel 22-24), but in each, God’s Presence went with him. There will be places ahead where my imagination can’t yet take me and shouldn’t yet go. The path will twist and turn. It will dip and rise. And without a doubt, I will feel the cold rocky walls of a cave around me again.
However, now in the Spring sunlight, while the birds sing and the green grows greener, I set my stake. In the glorious light, I will trust Him to shine in the deepest dark. I will hold the Word as my anchor. I will know His Presence faithfully with me even in the darkest cave. And I will worship the One Who lights my darkness.
Here are some other posts you may enjoy.
Here is the first one I’ve written about the origin of a hymn. The background to I Love to Tell the Story fascinated me.
And a recent one for Her View From Home: