Today’s Unexpected Sanctum—Sonlight in Ice Caves

Posted on Aug 12, 2011 in Faith | 69 comments

When I awoke this morning, never did I imagine I would be blessed to experience God in the way I did this afternoon. On our way to Aspen, Colorado, my kids and I stopped at The Grottos for a picnic lunch. As there are beautiful, but potentially dangerous, rock formations and caverns amidst the rushing white water, my four children knew in no uncertain terms to “always have a buddy…never be alone.” Famous last words. For me, God had different plans.

For various reasons, after all five of us had been together at the bottom of the “Ice Caves,” I was now temporarily alone. Feeling a little cold, I moved to sit on a rock where a sunbeam shone down from a crack far above. Now in the light, I immediately felt the sun’s warmth amidst the coolness surrounding me. Once still in the perfect quietness, the sound of trickling water was clearly audible…and ever so peaceful and beautiful.

I looked up to where the sunlight had found its way to me, and I was surprised to see the top of a tree, swaying in a breeze. I could not hear the wind, only see its effects.

Similarly, the trickling water was invisible, but I listened to its gentle, bubbly flow somewhere near me. As my mind and body differentiated each and every sensation, my spirit seemed to absorb them simultaneously. I realized I was with God. Or—it’s probably more correct to say—I realized He was with me. My intellect knows God is always with me but, alone in this unexpected sanctum, it was as if my whole being—heart, mind, body, and soul—was being courted by “’Immanuel’—which means, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23).

What I haven’t yet mentioned is that this morning I felt uniquely alone and shared some very private feelings with God. How truly grand of my heavenly Father to only hours later take me to a place I would experience such unique aloneness with Him! By embracing me in a literal room of rock—ground, walls, and ceiling—He showed me He is the rock-solid strength and foundation for my life. Others will change their minds and their words will prove empty, but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Alone in His presence, I was perfectly protected and safe.

More than anything, I think “my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2) wanted me to know He had heard my prayers, and He was with me. In a world where others leave us and forsake us, this assurance is precious. Today it was everything.

How I would love to go back to my personal refuge of rock to experience Sonlight in Ice Caves, but for now I must instead hold the memory close to my heart…and mind. Just as I climbed back up to the outside world, I want to climb back into everyday life empowered by my experience in the cave. It was a blessing—a gift—to so sensuously experience the presence of God, but now it is my responsibility to REMEMBER every detail of God’s lavishing His love on me, especially during times when I feel so alone. I close my eyes as I move to the Rock….

Have you felt uniquely alone and cried out to God? Has He taken you to a place of unique aloneness with Him? If you’d like to share a way you’ve been blessed by His presence, I would love to hear!

In the meantime, let us heed His words: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

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