Monday, March 3, 2008

Cave Dwellers!

"David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam:
and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it,
they went down thither to him.
And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. "
1 Samuel 22:1-2

If you have EVER felt the thrill of that desire to make an impact
on the world beyond your fingertips.

If you have EVER known you were made to yes,
serve your family, file the papers, input the data, ring up the next sale, prepare the next Quarterly Reports, schedule and attend and snooze through, I mean diligently participate in the next staff meeting.

Or, maybe your day to day is more like lessons plans, homework assignments, soccer practice, mermaid class, music practice, etc.

If you have ever felt that these things were just the beginning,
not the END, not the WHOLE JOURNEY.

That what you would ultimately accomplish, would be something of a profound,
and lasting value. That you would leave a deep and wide impact,
with bold outlines and clear definitive boundaries.

If you ever thought that wonderful divine appointment with destiny was to begin, like NEXT week, or maybe even NEXT month or NEXT year.

This one's for you! ; )

I was recently (see Saturday's Post) driving home and thinking about my faith and how I want to serve God to the best of my ability. To complete all of my Heavenly "to-do" list.
And how that desire, that journey has evolved for me over the years.
For my husband and myself, we are ALMOST done raising children.
While we will NEVER be through being parents,
and one day we hope to be grandparents,
our role, our responsibilities will be changed.

I remember when I realized that I was living Life in The Cave, much like David,
(probably my favorite OT person).
By the time I realized that was what was going on,
I had already made peace with it,
I had already come to the place of knowing that the boundary lines of life,
they WERE good, and they were FOR my good.
"The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage. I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons."
Psalms 16:6-7
What does that mean?
Well, David was anointed by Samuel to replace Saul as King,
at the divine direction of no less than God!
But, things got much, much more challenging for David,
for many years before that happened.
That often happens in our faith walk.
We get the great promise, then we are highed off to the potters wheel, the kiln,
the prison (remember Joseph!) or The Cave!

But, at least in my life, and in David's life, I can see the benefit and
I am grateful and expectant.
I have learned to not "despise the day of small beginnings".
I sense that there is enough greatness in living a quiet life,
raising my children, helping them,
and NOT helping when I need to stay out of it! :)
Helping my husband.
Being available to various friends and family members in different seasons of life.
While all these things are lacking in worldy acclaim, in flash and pizazz,
they are wonderfully fulfilling and they are great training ground
for whatever the future holds.
There was a day early in my faith walk where I was so excited,
and just knew I would help lots and lots of people,
I had no clue HOW, of course, just knew that I must!
My heart was full of enthusiasm!
My head positively swimming with ideas of HOW!

Time fails us to discuss how I went from almost a hero to a zero in short order.
Through not fault of my own.
God just worked through ordinary occurrences in life, to protect me,
from getting too far ahead of Him, in my zeal to serve Him!

Looking back I can see a trail of scales He has peeled off my dragon heart!

It was a real good thing He intervened.
But, it felt like betrayal from friends, misunderstanding from others,
unfairness, watching others live out my previous and presumed future roles.
It felt like failure. Like someone had changed the rules to every part of life
and forgotten to clue me in.
Like being naked and exposed,
in front of all the people I was in any sort of connection to,
because one thing never changes, people will talk!

My saving grace through it all, is the tougher it got, the more I clung to Him.
One day rolled into one week, rolled into years,
until I really WAS happy and content,
with what used to feel like a small, tight space.
As soon as I made peace and became content and unashamed
of the place He had for me,
He made it broader, and then
He made it broader again.
That's what happend for David, though on a much more profound manner.
Let's look at what David's life was like in that cave.
First of all, that word
CAVE - it means dark cavern, or hole, and to be bare or naked.
Wow.
Being naked, exposed, and in a dark hole in the earth. Doesn't sound very pleasant.
But, the good thing about it, is God protects you there.
Prepares you there, and provides for you there!

Look at the people that God began to bring to David:
Those in distress: meaning in a tight place, compressed, and oppressed.
Those in debt: meaning to be lead astray, to be seduced, to beguile,
to lend with interest, to impose on.
The discontented: this is really good too, the bitter, chafed, heavy,
breathing with lust or passion. (Can you say all hot and bothered?)

These people became known as David's Mighty Men!
David had previously cut his leadership teeth on sheep, then he graduated to these men and their families. The whole time he was responsible for his family (a lesson to us all),
because they were in danger because of him.
God trusted David with these people who were deceived,
oppressed, heavy with burdens, bitter, and lustily passionately angry, during his time
in The Cave.
Look around you. These are your people to care for, they need you!
They NEED the gift of God in YOU!
Eventually they left the cave, and went on to the forest.
And I really hope to be able to post about that sometime in the future.
But, it's a picture of the gradual expansion
of our territories as we grow in the Lord.
Just remember that Life in the Cave is for our good! For our protection, for our preparation. NOT our punishment!
And it looks a whole lot better as you look beyond it, to the future, and don't dwell on the smallness - look beyond.
See, compare the view from looking inward (the view in the picture at the top)
to looking outward here:

Photobucket

9 comments:

Denise said...

Praise God for always knowing where I need to be.

Denise said...

Over the years of my being a Christian I have learned some things about Ministry..... when first born again, me and Jesus were going to save the world and it was my goal to find my MINISTRY. Where did He want me where was I to go to preach to the masses..... and I did that for years! I am not sure when it ended for me but it ended.. and I am so grateful....

With studing my bible over the years I found that Jesus did not have a "Ministry" He just lived.. He walked and taked and visited the masses and visited the one.. He had no agenda except to be about the Fathers business..... As He moved among the people the Holy Spirit was busy bringing people to Him and taking Him to people...... It was in His everyday life that others lives were changed........ It took me a while but I finally learned that my "ministry" is in my daily life as the Holy Spirit brings people in my path and takes my path to people....and my "ministry" changes every day........ It free's me to just be me...... and allow Jesus to minister to whom ever He brings my way........ Today...

Great post .........

MelanieJoy said...

Thanks for stopping by the other
day. This was a good word! I worked in Youth ministry for around 13yrs. and I wanted to "save" them all. My heart still hearts for them and I try to water the ones He sends my way. With the youth I discovered they just want to know that someone cares about them. There's nothing like telling them how much He cares about them.

luvmy4sons said...

Oh, to be still and know that He is God. To remember that HE will lead us in paths of righteousness for His names sake. This one touched me. Thank you.

Nicki said...

This was a great post. I too want to "save" the world so many times and sometimes I get my head under water and I'm ready to drown! But He always pulls me up and gives me just what I need! This was just a well thought out post girl! I loved it!

Carole said...

For years I had this picture of a little girl squatting beside the opening of a cave. Stringy dirty dark hair, smelled a bit of urine, biting a nail--maybe five years old and no bigger than minutes. She had a choice--to go into the safe, dark, warm cave or go out in the sunlight and have to deal with the dangers in the lush green forest. The snakes, the sharp twigs, the bad guys hiding behind the larger trees.

She ended up going into the forest and truth be told, it about did her in. But with the help of the Light she found her way. Scarred and bruised, but alive. Now she lurks around reading people's blogs. Very meaningful post Maria.

freetofly said...

Denise, He's good like that isn't He? I'm grateful, too!

Hi, Denise! Life IS ministry. I agree! Thanks!


Melanie Joy, that is so wise and true! And it use to surprise me to discover that what you describe is acutally a universal need. From children's ministries to the very end of life, we all crave it! I was once fortunate to work in Youth ministry, it was soo much fun!

Thanks, Leslie! Yes, He IS faithful to Lead us in Paths of Righteousness For His Name's Sake! Thank Goodness!

Nicki, Isn't He faithful? What a relief! If He pulled Peter out, He will pull us out! :) Thanks loads!

Carole, wow...this was a very poignant coment. The forest, yes! It's a VERY good place! And Beyond that is maybe a lagoon, and then perhaps a beautiful city on a hill?

Thank you my friend!

TO all: Hope your week is going well! Thanks for all your sweet and inspirational comments!

xoxox
Maria

Mel's World said...

YES YES YES!!!!!!!

Oh what great words of wisdom! I can not even begin to tell you just how much I can relate to this post.

I love how you walk us through the cave as if we are on a journey with you and then lead us to the peaceful happy ending.

The cave is dark and scary sometimes, but when you focus on the Light of Jesus you are not alone, you are not afraid, you are not weak!

I have battled with this search for "greatness" and wanting to do so many amazingly GREAT and BIG things for God that in my search for that I almost lost one of the biggest ministries he ever gave me...my family. I was so consumed with my job at the church and being a pastor that I was completely out of balance.

Praise God he put me in my cave for a bit...

xoxo,
Melissa

freetofly said...

Melissa, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! That means more than I can say!

Your message, Melissa vibrates with a great understanding of what many in ministry need. I pray that you, and your husband and even your children will be able to help others with the 'same comfort you yourselves have received', as God continues to unfold His message in you!

Have a great day today!

xoxox,
Maria

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!