What makes you think of heaven? Today my source of inspiration for contemplating heaven is a dark, damp and very cold cave.
Today my family and I and our friends from Southern California left my home in Bend, Oregon and drove 20 minutes South on US-97 to reach this amazing mile-long lava tube called Lava River Cave that was formed from one of Newberry Volcano’s massive eruptions thousands of years ago.
Before we could enter the cave we had to listen to the ranger’s presentation about the perils of walking in the cave. He also strongly advised us to rent one or more of their bright flash lights because we shouldn’t take a chance that our iPhone flashlight would last for the mile long walk in the cave. Once we were in the belly of the cave, gratitude filled our hearts that we had sense enough to heed this sound advice because the darkness was absolute without a flashlight. Let me share with you the 5 lessons I learned about my journey to heaven as I spent time in this cave.
- My journey on this earth from birth to death and from lost to found will at times take me through the belly of a cave. This cave will represent the times in my life when I can only see one foot in front of me at a time, and I have no idea where I’m heading. I will strain to see but it will be futile, so I will be grateful that I remembered to take the light of God’s Word because it illuminates my path one step at a time. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
- The walk through this cave is best when journeyed with others. As I walk alongside the people in the cave, our collective flashlights brighten the sides and ceiling of the cave, revealing the cave’s true beauty. I can also see the people’s faces are flushed with color, and the warmth of their company distracts me from the unpleasantness of the cave. As we walk through the cave together, we begin to bond over our shared experience. Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- The walk through the cave is best when I stick close to my husband rather than walk in front of him or lose sight of him. I feel protected and secure as I hold my husband’s hand as we navigate the rocky, wet cave floor. Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.
- I must be hyper vigilant of where I’m stepping because as soon as I let my guard down and assume that I have my footing, I will take a horrible fall onto the jagged rocks. Proverbs 4:26. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
- There is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I approach this light, I will notice the extreme contrast to the darkness. The light is brilliant and warm and I know it will be exhilarating to finally reach the threshold and walk across it – out of the cave and into the glorious light. No more cave. Hello light. Revelation 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
Thank you Lava River Cave for the lessons you have taught me about my earthly journey to my heavenly home.