I was invited a few years back to go on my first spelunking trip. “What’s that?” you might ask. The simplest definition a novice like myself can provide would be: spelunking is exploring inside a cave with a flashlight and protective gear.
The cave we explored under two experienced guides was called Tumbling Rock, located in Northwest Alabama. I’ve since been in several more caves including Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, the longest cave system in the US, but none so far have compared to Tumbling Rock.
Our group spent hours hiking, climbing, crawling, and even wading through underground streams. One amazing highlight happened when, after standing on a pile of stacked rocks to pull ourselves up through a hole in the rock ceiling as water drained over us, we entered a new corridor being filled with a 400 ft waterfall called The King’s Shower. Honestly, it’s hard to comprehend as you stand in the Earth’s underbelly looking up 400 feet. Yet, that’s not what I remember the most about that trip.
As we backtracked over boulders and rock piles, our guides asked us to stop for a time of reflection. We all found a secure spot to sit and were asked to turn off all flashlights.
This was darkness like I had never experienced. It suffocated my visual senses so much that I felt dread, despair and instant paralysis. We sat in it silently for only seconds, but it felt much longer. Then the guide’s flashlight popped on.
I often remember that moment. Lord, help us to see darkness so we will run to Your light! To the hope we have in Christ.
In Genesis 19, God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but before doing so He sent angels to save Lot, Abraham’s nephew. In verse 16 of chapter 19 Lot did something I often do amid the darkness.
“As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.’ But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.”
Often we don’t realize the magnitude of the darkness that surrounds us in this world or even in the sinful nature alive in us all. We linger and long to get cozy with the darkness even while longing to be with the Lord. Thankfully, the Lord is merciful to us also and rescues us from the darkness through Jesus the Messiah who proclaimed in John 8:12,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
For all who repent and surrender to Christ are secure in His grace and mercy.
Seeing the darkness and repenting of our misplaced worship, let us beam forth Jesus, the Light of the world, and the Light of life.