Just about to drift off to sleep, I heard these words from the Spirit of God: “The experience of grief is like entering into a deep, dark cave.” I am familiar with that cave, having experienced grief in a variety of ways during my lifetime. This statement of personal grief is not a comparison, nor is it a competition–it’s simply my own personal reality.
Remembering well what the atmosphere of that cave was [and sometimes still is], I knew that the Spirit of God was not focusing on the damp, darkness of the grief cave. He explained: “Once you find yourself experiencing this grief cave, I want you to use this time to rest, to heal, and then to emerge from this cave with unforgettable, treasured jewels. They are hidden in deep recesses of the cave, so you will need to search them out ~ search Me out! I have many hidden things for you to know tucked in those deep places.” “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” [Jeremiah 29:13]
I recall prior testimonies I’ve unloaded of the atmosphere of the cave ~ okay, let’s honestly call it whining as opposed to mining. How important it was for me at that time to let it be known how deep, how long, how desperately lonely that cave was. In doing so, my listeners would then begin to share about their own grief caves. Though I was and am even more compassionate for those who’ve suffered loss, I realized that the Lord’s intention was for us to realize gains even in the midst of loss.
With deeper understanding into the mining of this cave experience, I came to understanding the results if I failed to search for His hidden treasures. He had gently but seriously implied, “Go mining for Me;” yet if I failed to do so, I would fall into the common response of hostility because I’m angry for my loss. I would even go down the guilt trail, wondering if I had done all that I could do to prevent the loss or to make the release easier. Then suppressed feelings would be placed under tight control so I could put up the brave front. Coming out of the cave, without the jewels He’d intended for me, I found myself becoming intensely busy ~ running away. All the while, my soul refused to let go of nostalgia.
Okay, enough of the wasteful dirt underneath my fingernails from trying to find my way out of this place. It’s time to mine! The jewels gained from suffering and loss are countless. Tucked inside the sufferings through losses of this life are realities that teach us things we otherwise would never know. The relationship with our Lord can [if we mine for Him] deepen as we embrace what we cannot hold onto while valuing the things that are eternal. Empty hands and empty hearts soon realize the greater treasures. We learn that this life is not all there is. And when we, as believers, leave this life and enter into eternal life, we will see Heaven gloriously arrayed in the precious jewels. Perhaps some of these jewels will seem familiar.