Cave Thunder (Day 1 from Cleansing Thoughts)
OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, my husband and I have enjoyed the beauty of exploring the world of caves. I like seeing the different types of formations and the way their lighting brings out the natural beauty. Within the caverns, one’s imagination can open a world of stone figures that can only be matched in the cloud formations above. At one point on every tour, the lights go out, and we can experience what it is like to be in total darkness.
It is more than being in the dark; it’s the absence of all light, more of a feeling than the inability to see. You feel the emptiness of standing their completely alone, afraid to move or even breath. The darkness is so heavy you find it difficult to feel, let alone move, your arms and legs, it sort of like being isolating you even from yourself. The silence becomes deafening as the coldness of the cave wraps you in a shroud.Seconds seem like an eternity as you feel alienated within the aloneness of your own soul.
It was after we had left the first cave and driving to the next that the Lord brought to mind a study I had done on the plagues God had poured out on Egypt before the great exodus. It was the ninth, the plague of darkness, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch our your hand towards heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt’” (Exodus 10:21, NKJV). Much like what we had just experienced within the cave, which lasted for less than a minute, the Egyptians felt for three days! I can not imagine being in such darkness for that length of time. The Word tells us that the Egyptians “did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place” (Exodus 10:23, NKJV). I remembered reading in my study that this darkness was so intense that it reached into the depths of their inner being, a place held sacred to them where only the gods could reach. This must have been overwhelming to a people who worshipped the sun and they believed the Pharaoh was the incarnation of Amon-Ra, the sun god.
I remembered another scripture that spoke of darkness from Matthew 8:12,”. . . The sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness . . .” (NKJV). [The simplest way to explain the meaning of this verse is to define the key words: sons, are Jews that have not accepted the Messiah; kingdom, of God; outer, outside of; darkness, eternal.] In other words those that do not accept Jesus will be cast into eternal darkness. A darkness that can be felt. A Darkness separated from the presence of God for eternity. A cold chill came over me as I remembered the darkness of the cave.
When we arrived at our next destination, a cave discovered in the 1940s containing an underground river; our entire tour will be taken by boat. The only lighting was onboard,a spotlight that our guide used. This was a whole new experience for us because other than the immediate area or when the spotlight moved there was darkness and the genial motion of the boat through the water. At one point, paused to observe the animal life living within a world of endless darkness. Ghost-like creatures, white, almost transparent. It was here that we experienced what our guide referred to as “cave Thunder.” For us to get the full benefit, naturally, the light was turned out, and for the second time that day I found myself in total darkness. As we sat there in the stillness the water gently rocking the boat, no one moved; no one made a sound. And suddenly the guide hit the sides of the aluminum boat with his fists, and the sound rumbled like Thunder as it echoed throughout the cavern! Everyone in the boat was so startled we jumped, causing the boat to rock back and forth, and I couldn’t even move to hold onto the sides of the boat. The darkness was so thick and heavy I was having a hard time breathing. I wanted to scream but when I opened my mouth nothing came out. I felt I must have been as white as the creatures living in the depths below. As the boat settled down and the cavern got quiet the thunder was repeated two more time, each time louder than the one before. Then it was like I could see and every thing was red, orange and yellow and two verses kept running through my mind, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14-15, NKJV) . . . [Death and Hades are the beast and false prophet and, Revelation 19:20].