Today is the first day of Spring. As buckets of snow pour down from the sky, it looks much more like the first day of winter than the heralding of seasonal flowers-and-butterflies.
Restaurants, schools, gyms, theaters, multiple retail stores — all closed; grocery shelves remain unable to meet purchasing demand; Spring breaks, weddings, political rallies and church gatherings equally disrupted. Coronavirus-19 stalks through the countries of the world and the halls of America.
It reminds me of David’s wild hiding spree as he sought to escape Saul’s determination to eliminate him.
First, the Cave of Abdullum.
When you find yourself in the depths of a cave, the light seems small and far away. Caves are dark, tension easily runs high, fear of scarcity or being discovered, always at the forefront of your thoughts.
From this scenario David entreated, “Be gracious to me, O God,” which he followed by: “For my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge, until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth…My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! Awake, my glory! Awake, my harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens and Your truth to the clouds.” (Psa. 57:1-3, 7-11, NASB)
The graciousness of God. The lovingkindness of God. The active participation of God, in our good times and especially in our trials, our cave-time.
Pastor Ray Noah of Portland Christian Center and Petros Network wrote on his blog, “What is the cave?…the cave is the place of testing; it’s the blast furnace for moral fiber. The cave is where your mettle gets tested, your maturity gets revealed, your heart gets exposed!” He adds, “If Jesus got ‘cave-time,’ the cave won’t be optional for you.”
I’m so glad His cave-time was mentioned…for we know the end of that episode, and it fills our hearts with joy, a sense of confident victory which yes — we can walk in — a testimony that never fails to inspire, to strengthen, to catapult us forward in good deeds towards others.
In the midst of abundant Coronavirus 24/7 information/news to which we are all exposed right now, travel restrictions, closed businesses, and high anxiety among many among our neighborhoods and friends, I had the most amazing song enter my heart earlier in the week. I use the description “amazing” because I have not heard or sung this song for at least twenty years. It’s a melody which I thought was “OK” in its height of popularity, but not one of my personal Top Tens I would find myself humming.
And yet the Spirit injected the chorus melody into my soul and spirit and the tune has not stopped, yet: “Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory; blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy, send forth Your Word and let there be Light.” (Cliff Richard, lyrics)
I think this was not sent merely for my edification, and perhaps not even for yours…but, rather, to serve as a launchpad to prayerfully confront this specific darkness in a time of national need. Praying for the Father’s glory to be released in every quarter, into every heart, through every scientist, in every economic situation, in wisdom and discernment, to repel every attack of fear, to push back and quell this overarching evil – with all its minions and carriers and banner-bearers.