A second lesson we can learn from David when he was a cave dweller is:
Cave dwelling can be a good time for meditation and remembering what is most important in our lives.
While community is important, occasionally solitude is as equally important, for in solitude, we can hear God more clearly. Solitude is a way of clearing the noise of everyday life and listening intently to God. If you were used to being in meetings and activities all week long, now that those are canceled, use that time to reflect on God’s word. You might choose a favorite book of the Bible and just begin reading and marking God’s promises to you or what he says about you. Use this time as a time of prayer and reflection.
Cave dwelling is also a time of rest. My mother-in-law sent me something about the COVID-19 quarantine that she received from a friend last week. Here is an excerpt from it that fits this lesson:
Society: What about my plans ?
God: My plans for you are always better than your own. Don’t worry. I’m going to work this all out for your good.
Society: We’re not going to get anything done!
God: That’s the point. You know how you keep spinning your wheels—always working, moving, doing—but never feeling satisfied? I’ve given you permission to stop. I’ve cleared your calendars for you! Your worth isn’t tied to busyness or accomplishment. All you have to do is take care of each other.
Society: What does this all mean?
God: It means I’m in control. It means you are human, and I am God. It means I’ve given you a wonderful opportunity to be the light in a dark world. It means you are going to learn to rely on me.
Society: What are we supposed to do when we can’t leave our homes?
God: Rest. You are always so busy and overwhelmed, crying out to me weary and exhausted. Can’t you use a break from your fast-paced and over-scheduled lives? Go ahead and rest. Pray. Love your families. Be still and spend time with me.
In Psalm 57:1b, David says, “I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” David understood the perfect place for rest: in the Lord. Notice that he was not attributing the cave as his refuge but instead it was placing himself under “the wings of the Lord.” This beautiful image reflects that of a mother bird shielding her chicks from dangerous predators and the elements. This also illustrates a closeness like no other because the mother bird is using herself to protect her chicks. God does that for us. And, as his chicks we can rest in his protection. This same image is also found in Psalms 17:8, 36:7, and 63:7, and Jesus used it once, too, in Matthew 23:37.
Us this time of slowing down and solitude to rest in the Lord.
How will you use your new “downtime” (those times you would have been at an activity that is currently canceled)? What is one practical thing that you can do to grow closer to God? Some ideas: work through a Bible study that you haven’t done yet, set aside special prayer time for others, send cards to encourage others, etc. Share in the comments section what you chose to do! Let’s be accountable to each other.
Of special note: Even though this lesson is about solitude, community is equally important, and if you are feeling lonely and in need of community, some good practical ways to combine community and reflection on God’s word are phone calls to friends to say, “Hi,” pray together, and maybe even talk about a Bible study. If you are tech savvy, video call someone. Or, if you like paper, start a card ministry. After all, who doesn’t love to receive a note of encouragement in the mail?