de Grot – Cave of the Heart part 2

Nobody plans on ending up in the cave, but sooner or later everybody logs sometime in the cave.  There are places that you leave (Gath) and there are places that you escape to (Adullum)…a hide out.

de GrotSoon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. 2 Then others began coming…1 Samuel 22:1-2

“Soon” is a relative term that is not according to the natural passing of time, but in relationship to a breaking moment. Everyone’s sooner or later is usually later, but it is never too late.  Remember in the movie Cast Away the last thing Tom Hank’s character said before he boarded the plane, “I’ll be right back…”

cave 16Soon others start coming. The “Man Cave” begins as a brotherhood, then a family and then there is something for others to come to and for them to join.  People want to belong to a team, fraternity, club, organization…but it must be strong from the inside out.

There are 400 men who are coming to sign up and join the movement…a generational number…you are not alone.

Where were they coming from? What were they coming to? What were they coming for? Who were they coming with?

  • We invite people to Belong…Identify = Relationship
  • We lead people to Believe…Involve = Sonship
  • We encourage people to Become…Invest = Discipleship
  • We train people to Beget…Increase = Leadership

We come in one way, but we can’t stay that way. The cave carves into us the in-congruences of our inner and outer lives, it inconveniences our comforts, it uncovers our conscience, it captures us through conviction, it recreates us through conversion and catapults us to create and conquer.

cave 17Everything we run away from has power over us; everything we go through, we conquer. –Joyce Meyer

The idea of hope no longer drips like water from a stalactite into a small pool on the ground. Each drop now calcifies at the end of an incarcerating column of stone. The pool below is evaporating into a dried and crusty watermark, a haunting encryption of the vexing circumstances.

The stress of such an existence is maddening and you endlessly wonder who I would be and what life would be like if I could get out of the cave of distress.  Think again of Hanks’ character in the movie Cast Away…as we begin our expedition into the cave of Distress.

Distress refers to the external circumstances that you find yourself in for a variety of reasons. The walls of the cave are closing in on you. You are being pressed into a hard place. It is so harrowing and the ability to find a place of comfort is only discovered in the phantoms of an imaged reality.cave 26

Mr. Wilson is both the distressed neighbor of Dennis the Menace (Hel-lo Mr Wilson!) and the comforting companion of Tom Hank’s distressed character in Cast Away.

The Bible addresses distress throughout its pages, especially the Psalms.  It isn’t surprising that David gives us an up close and personal look into its purpose and power in our lives.

  • Deuteronomy 28 one of the signs of the curse is distress.
  • In the life of Saul the Lord brought forth a distressing spirit.
  • The people living under poor leadership were distressed.
  • David’s music brought relief to Saul’s distress.
  • Jesus was under great distress in Gethsemane
  • Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress…?

cave 27It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suffering.

  • 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Psalm 4:1 You have enlarged me in my distress…the sorrows of life have been the source of life’s enlargement.
  • Psalm 118:5 I called on the Lord in distress; The Lord answered me and set me in an enlarged place.

As the Lord enlarges you, the place that you occupy is enlarged.

cave 25My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering.  A distress signal is an internationally recognized means for obtaining help.

Psalm 107:6,13,19,28 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses.

It may be time again to cry out to the Lord in your distress.

About Michael Welchert

My wife Diana and I have been married since 1985 and have five wonderful children. I have been in ministry since 1980 and we currently reside in the Denver, CO area.
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