In his book If You Want to Walk on Water . . . , John Ortberg uses the cave as a symbolic description of times of utter discouragement and failure. Sooner or later, everyone will spend time there.
While it’s easy to believe that God is present during time of great success, Pastor Ortberg asserts that “. . . I think perhaps the cave is the most wonderful place of all to find that you are loved by God. If you know- really know- that you are loved by God when you feel the weight of failure, then there is no place where you will be beyond the confines of his care.”
By contrast, if we tie our sense of self-worth and significance to our success, that is a very tenuous and fragile connection. The author reiterates that “when I come to know in the marrow of my bones that I am just as valued and loved by God when I have fallen flat on my face, then I am gripped by a love stronger than success or failure.”