Lessons in the cave
Brokenness brings perspective.
Painful situations strip away superficial stuff and leave what actually maters. Every time I’ve had to face a critical moment, in the middle of the chaos that flipped my world upside down, I just knew what was important. Sickness, broken heart, you name it. In the crisis, you just learn things. Of course we are under stress and in survival mode, so most of the time we are not aware of what good is left behind after the storm. But there is a point when you sit down with God and the inventory happens.
Wisdom bits. Every storm leaves a good amount of them. After the dark season has passed, there we are standing in front of what we thought would kill us, but we are there, alive, with new lessons in our pockets and a changed heart. As I stumbled through David’s prayer in Psalm 141, I realized how those lessons learned in the storm are important. Here is young David, running away from the closest thing that he had to a father figure who was persecuting him. Not a fun season.
A lot of pain involved, a lot of questions not being answered and a lot of lessons being learned.
Let the godly strike me!
It will be a kindness!
If they correct me, it is soothing medicine.
Don’t let me refuse it. (v.5)
David wrote this psalm in a season when he was the target of Saul’s jealousy, and in the middle of that raw season he stops and ponders: is the fact that he is persecuted the problem? No. What make this season a difficult one is that his enemy has no fear of God.
He founded the root, and that gives us the beautiful statement of his soul in verse 5 that paraphrased is something like this, “I am not resisting the discipline. I just want to come from someone who loves God.“
I thought how much of a sincere vow this prayer was and how deep in his heart it was imprinted. I don’t think at the moment that he was surviving this season he understood the relevance of it: how that decision would save his life, family and kingdom in the future. A few decades later, Saul was a faded memory and the cave almost a forgotten place. King David, now is a different season, had failed. Big time. His heart needed a change of direction, correction, and discipline. This time he was not a victim; but, the victimizer (see 2 Samuel 11). God sent Nathan the Prophet, to strike him with truth, to correct him, and David took the medicine. The cave, the persecution, the brokenness experienced earlier had calibrated David’s heart. He had no idea that all that pain was his prepping course for his royal season.
Maybe the cave is not only a miserable place that we can not escape. Maybe is not that God forgot our needs or wants. Maybe is just an excuse to have deep talks to him about important things. Maybe is a time to merge my heart with His, to be prepared for the future. Maybe what I think is killing me is actually setting me up for a life-giving moment.
Having a humble heart to receive discipline. Accepting correction from godly people. Trust God over feelings. Walk in obedience. Do not give up. He is faithful. Lessons are there for us in all caves. David’s cave, Tethe’s cave.
Are you in a cave? There is a lesson for you there too.