The Cave Experience

by Joanna Pierce on November 02, 2016

God has amazing structures all throughout His creation. Such constructs are not just limited to above the ground, but below as well. We can identify these formations as none other than caves. Caves are magnificent and curious structures—large and small, outfitted with stalagmites and stalactites; some have bodies of waters flowing through them, and most have various creatures inhabiting their walls.

Some people make it a life’s pursuit to seek out and discover all the caves of the world. They voluntarily set foot in numerous caverns, and have quite unique and different cave experiences with each exploration.

But, even with all the distinct caves through the world, there are many with similar features. Most are cold, wet, and dark. Without artificial light and a heat source, these caves are slightly unpleasant to inhabit. If exploring, one may desire to have a shorter search session and rendezvous back to the surface (or cave entrance) sooner rather than later. It’s undesirable to stay in the cave for a long period of time.

On earth, if desired, we can choose to have any cave experience we want. And, we can come and go as we please. We’re not required to spend an allotted time in any cave—especially those that are cold, wet, and dark.

But, all of our life’s cave experiences are not going to be terminated when we get a little uncomfortable. In our walk with God, we may be led into a few cave experiences that are slightly unpleasant. Regardless of how much we’d like to leave, God wants us to stay there for just a little while. God has a reason for our cave experiences.

We can see the purpose of a disagreeable cave experience in Scripture when we read the story of Lazarus.

Lazarus fell ill, died, and was buried in a cave (John 11:38). Before Jesus arrived, Lazarus was in the cave 4 days (John 11:39). The rate at which Lazarus’ body began to decay increased the longer he stayed in the cave—Martha even noted he started to stink because he’d been in the cave for so long! But, there was a reason for this cave experience.

If Lazarus hadn’t died, he wouldn’t have been placed in a cave. If he wasn’t in the cave, Jesus couldn’t have called him to come forth and arise from the dead (John 11:43). There was a miracle in store for Lazarus in his cave, but he had to endure the cave experience for a time before God could perform a work.

In our lives today, the reason why God wants us to undergo some unpleasant cave experiences is to allow Him to work a miracle in our lives. Unless we have our cave experiences—and stay a while in the dark, in the cold, and in the wet environment—God can’t manifest a supernatural move in our lives.

Many times, we’re so eager to get out of the cave we fail to see its purpose. We become so displeased with how we feel in the moment, we don’t see the larger picture of what God is trying to do in our cave.

We’re all going to have a cave experience if we choose to live for God—it’s unavoidable. But, it’s up to each of us in what will happen in our cave experience; what we’ll allow God to do. Will we be too busy trying to exit the cave or will we endure the cave experience to see the miracle? I encourage all of us today to surrender to the cave experience God want us to have today, and see what’s in store inside.