A key to thriving in life’s uncomfortable places
So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there.1 Samuel 22:1
If you were out for a hike and stumbled upon an opening to a cave, what would you do? Would you go deeper inside or settle for seeing as much as you could from outside the cave? If you’re a spelunker, you’re going in…with excitement.
No thanks. For those of us who tend toward claustrophobia, spelunking is not our idea of a good time. We would rather stay out where there’s plenty of air, daylight, and elbow room.
Caves are scary.
But for young David, during his wilderness years, a cave was key to his survival. He had been forced into the cave like an animal running from its predator. Saul was on one of his homicidal kicks again and David was on his hitlist. Along with a bunch of his allies, David holed up in the cave of Adullum until Saul’s rage passed.
But if you look closely, you’ll notice something really important about this challenging season in David’s life. Although he had been forced into hiding in a cave, David’s faith in God remained strong. He did not let the hard times cause him to question God’s loyalty or goodness. In fact, David believed that God was going to do something for him. He was certain that things would change for the better.
Listen to what David said to a friend while trying to find a sanctuary for his family members:
And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me.” -1 Samuel 22:3
I love that last part, “…til I know what God will do for me.” David understood that the cave situation was not permanent, but temporary. One of the worst things about our cave experiences is that they feel so forever. But not for David. He did not yet know what God would do, but he believed that God was going to do something good and beneficial for him.
How about you? Are you expecting God to do something for you?
You may be in a cave of sorts today, a place that is dank, dark, and uncomfortable. Maybe you have a health issue or family problem that is pressing in on you and making you feel desperate. In these places one of the most important keys to thriving is, like David, to keep looking forward to good things. Research bears this out. Numerous studies have documented how anticipation for good things ahead is key to coping with hard things now.
“”having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…”Ephesians 1:18
By the way, this is the essence of Christian hope, the idea that no matter how difficult things might be in the present, in Jesus, you always have something good to look forward to. It may be dark presently, but the future remains bright.
Caves aren’t forever.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.