How many of you were riveted by the dramatic cave rescue of the young Thai soccer team?
I continually looked for online updates regarding the young Thai soccer team. I spent several nights imagining the boy’s dilemma and what it would be like to be trapped in a dark cave with rising water and no where to go. (For those that are not familiar with the story you can read about it here.) In summary, 12 boys and their 25-year old coach ventured into a cave to explore and ended up in a deep cave with no apparent escape. It took over a week for rescue personnel to find that the boys were alive and seemingly well. Thai authorities assembled an international rescue team and began the process of planning and rescuing the young soccer team.
As I watched this amazing story unfold, I started to think about being in that mountain cave with no obvious way out and how often I feel trapped in a mental cave with no apparent escape. I found 8 lessons from the Thai cave rescue that we can use to escape our personal caves.
Our outlook defines our cave.
Merriam-Webster defines a cave as a natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth, in the side of a hill or cliff, or a place providing privacy and seclusion from others. I define a mental cave as a deep, dark, safe place that we use for rest and refreshment during a season of our life or a place used to isolate or withdrawal from our life. Do you withdraw for a time in order to be refreshed for the coming season or do you withdraw indefinitely to avoid both life and people? Our outlook defines our cave.
Our outlook determines our direction.
Once we are in our cave and the water begins to rise , do we run deeper into the cave to escape or do we face the water and risk swimming out? Does the presence of stress in your life cause you to retreat further into your mental cave or do you face the problems to develop new ways of looking at them ? We can quickly go from comfortable darkness to deep isolation. Our outlook determines the direction we choose.
The farther we retreat, the darker it becomes.
The farther we retreat into the cave the darker it becomes and escape seems impossible. Do you feel trapped in a loop of bad thoughts with no visible way to stop them? When we venture this far in to our mental caves we often believe that there is no hope and we cannot see any light. We are overcome by the darkness because it is all we see.
In darkness we can only see what we think.
When the water rises it brings lots of unknown and unseen things like snakes, spiders, bugs, bats and all sorts of critters. When we are trapped in our mental caves, we see things that are only visible in the darkness. It seems as if circumstances and people are against us. The Thai soccer coach was a former Buddhist monk and he instructed the boys to meditate in order to control their feelings and save their energy. Philippians 4:8 instructs us to meditate on good things. Why is meditating on good things important? Because in darkness we can only see what we think.
We choose what we see.
In our personal caves, we often believe we are alone but God is in the cave with us even if we do not see Him. The young Thai boys drank clean water from the walls of the cave which allowed them to survive. At your darkest moment in the cave, you can rest assured that God will be what you need even if you do not see Him. Your sight does not affect His presence and His presence may not meet your expectations. A close relationship with our Heavenly Father allows us to see Him in ways we never imagined.
[bctt tweet=”Your sight does not affect His presence and His presence may not meet your expectations. A close relationship with our Heavenly Father allows us to see Him in ways we never imagined.”]
Sometimes we need to accept help.
We may need to accept help in order to get out of our cave. Often we are blinded by ourselves and are too prideful to ask for help. The Psalms are full of petitions for help (Psalms 30, 61 and 107 to name a few.). The Thai soccer team had an international team of rescuers working to rescue them. Are you willing to accept help in order to get out of your cave? I have seen that people stuck in a deep, dark cave often stay there because they either do not want help and like the darkness or they do not believe they are worth helping. Believe you are worth it, your Heavenly Father does!
Do things we have not done before.
To get out of the cave we may have to do things we have never done. We have to be willing to change in order to change. The young Thai boys did not know how to swim and had never been scuba diving but they were willing to learn those skills so that the rescuers could help them. What can you do differently? What are you willing to learn that you have not done before?
Look back and see that you were never alone.
Once we are out of the cave we can look back to discover that we had many people cheering for us on all along. We can see that it was a lie that we were alone and isolated. We can see that it was a lie that no one cared. We can now see all the lies that kept us in the cave and afraid to leave. Look around, there are many people that are willing to help you help yourself!
Are you in a cave? Do you want out?
If you feel stuck in a cave please reach out to someone today!
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text with someone at the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Program these numbers into your phone so you have support 24/7.
- Find somebody to talk to. You are not a burden to them. You are precious and important and this world is better because you are here.
- Email me at Michelle@counselingincanton.com if you would like counseling assistance.
There is Hope for you and His name is Jesus!
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