I picture David there in the cold, dark cave. I picture him there, afraid and yet so authentically desperate for God that people came to him to perhaps listen in on his words to God.
We’re told in 1 Samuel 22:1-3 that, while in this cave to flee from Saul, “all those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander.” I think they might have come to learn how a hurting person relates to God.
From this place, David wrote Psalm 142. I wonder if he read it aloud. I wonder if he cried when he read it.
He writes, “When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way” (Psalm 142:3). I love how David asks God to “set [him] free from [his] prison” so he can praise God. Then he writes this beautiful idea into words: “Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me” (7).”
I remember meeting a young couple who endured much suffering and loss in their lives. They told me that God had placed them in a dark cave of misery, but from there, a ministry came about. God brought the distressed and despairing to them, and they cared for those people. I wondered about their lives, and the story of David and his “cave ministry” for years.
I reasoned that if God brings me to a dark, scary place in my life, He is there. He knows my way. And I’m there because He is bringing people to me, right there in that cave of sadness, to lead and care for. They will listen to how I talk to God from that place. David wrote from that cave, and I thought that I might write from dark places as well.
Sometimes, we minister from bright, clear places of joy. Other times, we minister in a cave where all we have is a cry from our heart for God to set us free.