I Kings 19 tells the story of the prophet Elijah when, at a very low point in his life, he sought to hide himself in a cave.  God, as He always will, came to him there and asked the question, not once, but twice, "What are you doing here Elijah?"  That question, and the recent testimony I heard from a young woman, made me think back to the first time I had sought to hide myself away in a cave.  Like Elijah, He came to me there.  
      In my 20's I had entered into a lifestyle of drug usage.  I spent most of my time high, and was always seeking better and longer lasting highs.  It started with marijuana, made stops with such things as mescaline, speed, downers, and so on, and I had now discovered the seduction of cocaine.  Yet these "highs" always left me the same way; disenchantment with my life, feelings of isolation, and a hopelessness as to what lay ahead.  Then, through the witness of a friend who'd once shared the same lifestyle, I heard about the life that could be had in Christ.  I disregarded it at first, but I could not get away from reality of the transformation I witnessed in that friend, and the Christ who had wrought it.  I ran from Him, hid from Him, but He pursued me, came to my "cave" and called to me.  One evening, in the dining room of my mother's home, I surrendered to Him, and where only darkness and death had been, life entered in.  I was free.
     The drug usage was completely gone, and I entered into life in Him with a whole heart.  All went well for several months, but one evening, feeling discouraged, weary, some friends came by with the bag of dope they'd just bought.  Joints were lit and began to be passed around.  Without really thinking about it, I took it when it was offered to me, and continued to take it as it made its way around the circle.  The effects were immediate, and yet, though I was affected, some part of me felt very removed from it all.  I then heard what could only be His voice whispering to me, "Is what you're experiencing now in any way comparable to what you received when you first met Me?"  I knew it was Him, and I could only answer, "No Lord, it doesn't at all.  There is nothing here for me at all."  With that thought, I was instantly sober, clear minded.  The dope had no effect on me at all.  I walked away from that "gathering," and never looked back.  Like Elijah, He had found me in my cave, hiding, and in response to His "What are you doing here Gary?", I could only respond, "Nothing of any value at all Lord."  I came out of that cave, and back into His life.
     There have been times since then that I've ended up back in the "cave" emotionally, spiritually, even physically.  Hiding from Him because of discouragement, disappointment, bitterness and unforgiveness, or feelings of failure.  In that cave there was only darkness and death, but into it each time He came.  Every time He's asked the same question, "What are you doing here?" and every time I've had the same answer, "Nothing that brings me life Lord."  And so once again, He calls me out of the darkness back into His life, because no cave, no matter how comfortable we seek to make it, can compare with what we have in Him.  With Him is light and life, and only darkness and death in the cave.
     What cave might you be hiding in today?  You may have been so long there that it's come to feel like home, and you're not at all anxious to leave, but be sure, into that cave He'll come, and the question will be asked, "What are you doing here?"  With that question, the reality of that cave being your prison will be shown, along with the choice to take His hand, and allow Him to lead you out into His light and life.  He calls you out.  Are you coming?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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