The Cave Illustration


Well-Known Member
The following is a standout illustration that helped me immensely in the early stages of my spiritual growth. Hope you enjoy.

Imagine that you are a cave dweller, deep in a cave without any light, and this is the only existence you have ever known. Imagine a life of wandering around in total darkness, always bumping your head into you don't know what, always skinning your shins on something, and always getting marred up in muck. Most of the time you are afraid to make a move. Your life is not really a life. You don't really have a good idea of where you are at or where you are headed, and you can't make heads or tails of where you have been. Been there?

That's about where I was some 36 years ago (I'm 61 now). I had been saved at 10, but later went the way of the world till I was 25. Around that time---having just been at my bottom and minded to now give God the same chance I had given the world---I went to a local Bible conference. I listened intently as the keynote speaker began to talk along the above lines. He explained that spiritually, this was the way it was with a large number of people. Feeling very much like one of that number, I was plugged into all that he was saying. Then he began to outline some spiritual truths in connection with what might happen if such a cave dweller suddenly caught a glimpse of light. Imagine that you are such a cave dweller and in all of your wandering around, you suddenly catch a glimpse of light. The minister continued with words similar to the following...

There is one of three things you might do with this glimpse of light. One thing is NOTHING. Neither moving towards it or away from it. Just watching it. Kinda glad it's there, but that's about all. A lot of people are like this about the Bible that is on the shelf, or the church down the road, or the counsel of some Godly loved one or friend. They are glad all this is in place around them, but they won't do anything with it. The consequence is that they will not benefit. Light not followed will get you nowhere.

Another possibility is to go away from the light. For a cave dweller who has never seen anything but darkness, to suddenly glimpse some light could be a startling experience. One's first inclination might be to turn from it or even flee from it. But, to do this will result in further hopelessness. There is a spiritual principle involved when one does similarly in response to God's activity in their life. It goes like this---LIGHT REJECTED INCREASETH DARKNESS.

The last possibility is to move towards the light. Even though a cave dweller who has never been outside of the cave that he is in will not realize this, to head in the direction of the light means to get closer and closer to the mouth of the cave. It may take just a little while, or it may take some time. There may be ups and downs, but the spiritual principle remains the same---LIGHT FOLLOWED INCREASETH LIGHT.

I really don't recall any other part of the minister's message that night, but I sure got the gist of that cave illustration. I had always loved caves and had even been a spelunker of wild caves. God spoke to me through this example and used it at that time in my life to help me as much as anything I can remember. I guess this should not be surprising, seeing that "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). Having been in such darkness, I remember the hope I experienced as I anticipated following the light that God gave me from day to day. And I wanted to make sure I did right by the light God gave me, for I knew if I didn't, He might hold it back. I am reminded of Jesus' words from John 12:35---"Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."

A little later in my journey, I remember wondering if I would ever come out of the cave I was in. Realizing all of the world that exists outside of a physical cave, I wondered if there was a spiritual equivalent. Well, there is. For me, I began to realize the spiritual equivalent a few years later, around the time I began to understand discipleship. There came a time when I realized I was no longer in that cave. And what a different world! As a disciple, or follower of Christ, I found myself in a world full of meaning and security and abundance, a world full of joy and satisfaction and hope, a world full of vision and freedom and assurance. And lots of other good things! Oh, there have been some cloudy days, but none as bad as those "cave days." Coming out of the cave world was like coming out of darkness into the sunlight, or SONLIGHT! Interested??? LIGHT FOLLOWED INCREASETH LIGHT. :smile2