Like the rest of the world, I was absolutely mesmerized by the drama associated with the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. For weeks, I read everything that was available about their circumstances. I wanted to know more about each of the men, I was concerned about mine safety in general and I definitely absorbed all the details about the drilling for the rescue.
From time to time, there would be a bit of a report about their spiritual focus. At one point, a reporter relayed that the miners were meeting twice a day for prayer services. Someone else had indicated that a small area in the mine had been designated as a prayer room. Some of the relatives talked about their faith.
So I was particularly interested in a report that came the day after the rescue from a friend at Campus Crusade. It seems that the Chilean director for Campus Crusade, Christian Maureira had taken some initiative to contact some of the authorities to see if his ministry might send down some MP3s with copies of the “Jesus” film and the New Testament. God, as He always does, orchestrated the contacts and put Mr. Maureira in touch with a daughter and a brother of one of the miners. Through that contact, the families started sending down the MP3 players with the spiritual “food.”
Apparently there were at least three miners who self described themselves as true Christians. One of them wrote, “Thank you for this tremendous blessing for me and my coworkers. It will be good for our spiritual edification. I am fine because Christ lives in me.”
The miner ended that note with Psalm 95:4 which says, “In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.”
A few days later, one of the miners, Jose Henriquez asked if Campus Crusade could get the miners some special T-shirts to wear. And they did. As you saw each of the 33 men pulled from the belly of the earth, they were wearing tan t-shirts over their scientifically designed green coveralls. The front said “Gracias Senor”-Thank you Lord. The back had the verse from Psalm 95.
As they exited the rescue capsule, their actions and comments spoke volumes about their spiritual focus. One commented, “God and the devil were fighting over me and God won.” One knelt as he came out and pointed to heaven, giving God his thanks. Another came out clutching his Bible. The words “God lives” were written on his helmet.
God most definitely had His hand in the depths of the earth and protected those miners. Each of them was given a new opportunity for life. In one sense, they all were “born again.” They all have an opportunity to experience the grace of God extended through the substitutionary death of Christ and a chance to embrace the joy of serving Him.
As you consider their story this week, remember too that you and I encounter varying degrees of difficult circumstances every day. True, we are not buried for two months 2000 feet under the earth, but many of us are “buried” in debt, or pain or other personal crises. And right now we do not see a way out.
Maybe we need to get one of those tan t-shirts and start our week with some “thank yous” for what we do have. And then we can re-orient our perspective as we consider all that He has in His hand!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel