While in Mexico last week, our adventures took us to the Grutas de Garcia - the caves of Garcia, Nuevo Leon - outside Monterrey. I couldn't wait to explore. Eagerly, we boarded a jerky, elevator-looking suspended cable car and inched our way to the top of the mountain. I was never so glad to be at the top of a mountain in my entire life. Besides, there, upon the mountain's side, was the entrance to the most cavernous underground world I'd ever laid eyes on.
I've since forgotten all the statistics of the cave - who discovered it, how long they've known about it, how tall and wide it is. I may have forgotten all that, but I haven't forgotten the feeling I had there. I felt so utterly hidden away. Protected. Secure beneath and between layers of rock and fossilized sea. I felt like David, hiding from King Saul. Like Obadiah, hiding away prophets. Like Lot, hiding from destruction. I felt biblical, almost. It seemed the perfect place to turn a corner and stumble upon a waiting God... to round a corner and find God standing there, saying "What doest thou here?" (1 Kings 19:9).
It made me think, as I wandered through, about how all those biblical folks hid themselves away. When they were scared, threatened, angry or running, they ducked into caves. Always caves. Lucky them. Most of us don't have that luxury.
But we still hide, don't we? When we're scared, threatened, angry or running, we hide, too. We hide in work. In shopping. In food. In alcohol. In family. In hobbies. In sex. In movies. In life. When heartbreaks or setbacks or challenges or difficulties arise, there we go, ducking into our sedations and distractions of choice. Even as Christians - as people who fear and serve a living God - we run for cover and hide. We seek out the nearest cave and wait, dreading the day God finds us there and calls us out.
We all go through tough times. We're all cave dwellers. Cave hiders. I am, too. This week I'm coming upon my wedding anniversary. The anniversary of the most disastrous, terrifying, and heartbreaking day of my life. Just thinking of it makes me shake... then makes me sick. If ever there was a time to hide, this is it. And believe me, I will.
Only not in a cave. No sir. There's nothing for me in a cave. I've learned a lot this past year about hiding. I've learned there's a difference between losing yourself in life and losing yourself in the giver of life. I've learned there's a difference in waiting out your fear and sorrow in things and waiting out your fears and sorrows in trust. I've seen, firsthand, the futility of depending on others... on stuff... and the freedom in depending upon our Savior. I've come to recognize - in the midst of my hiding - that heart-saving, soul-renewing, hope-building salvation can only be found in the arms of Christ Jesus our Lord. Not in the bottom of a shopping bag. Or the end of a trip. Or hours at work. Or time with children. Or at the bank. Salvation - and safe hiding - can only be found in Jesus Christ. None other.
You don't need to travel, as I did, to the bottom of a cave to realize it's no place to spend your life. Literally or figuratively. You might have made your way in, but God can make your way out. Heck, even in the middle of a cave in Mexico I found light leading the way out. And not just any old light, either. Glorious light.
So allow me to ask you the same question I've asked myself: where do you hide? What cave have you been dwelling in? And isn't time to hide yourself in God?
Monday Moment is a little devotional to help kick-start your week. See you again next Monday!