What a glorious day: Wednesday, October 13th, 2010!
To watch the Chilean men come out of the bowels of the earth alive, well, and so charismatic was a blessing too great for words. God answered the prayers of the men who were trapped and indeed the prayers of many around the world. He answered their prayers by keeping them well and by sending men with great skill and endurance to rescue them.
It was a joy to watch the expressions on the faces of those returning to the surface and the reaction of those who had waited patiently for them for so long. It was evident that those waiting could not wait to touch and hold the loved ones for whom they had prayed, asking for a safe return. It was so comforting to see each miner receive a warm embrace and a loving hug from family members, the Chilean President, his lovely wife, and those who worked so diligently to free them.
I am sure that there were many days when the miners wondered if they would ever see daylight and look into the eyes of their loved ones again. I am also sure that there were many times when, alone and deep in thought, they wished that they had been able to do things differently, and made wonderful plans in their minds for when they were rescued. I think of the gentleman who plans to enjoy the wonderful, elaborate wedding ceremony his wife always wanted but which he had felt was unnecessary. Now that he is a free man again, he will have the joy of pleasing his partner as they plan a traditional church wedding together. I think of the young man who witnessed his baby's birth while he was underground with his buddies. Now that he is free, he will be able to hold his darling daughter in his arms and tell her how much he loves her and her mother, who delivered her alone without his being there to comfort her. I think of the gentleman who was the spiritual guide and comforter for the team. I am sure the miners will love and respect this man who cared for them through to the end of their ordeal.
Yet the most touching part of the entire event was the moment each man came up to the surface and emerged from the capsule. Each time, for each one: "Out of the bowels of the earth and the darkness it contained and into the light and the arms of loved ones." Each one has been set free — free from the dark and dismay, free to look, free to see, free to feel, and free to make choices again.
Isaiah tells us that our Saviour's mission is to free those who sit in darkness.
Isaiah 42:6-7 – I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. (NIV)
Christ's gift of salvation is like the glorious freedom given to the miners. Peter writes:
1 Peter 2:9 – You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (NIV)
When we commit our lives to Christ, He takes us out of the dark shadows of sin and embraces us with love and forgiveness. We find ourselves walking in the glorious light of His countenance, able to see His face, able to feel His abiding love, and able to make choices which would include Him in our everyday activity.
Prayer: Our loving heavenly Father, You are able to set us free, free, free. We thank You for the hand of mercy that You so kindly provided for the miners and all who worked so diligently to free them from the bowels of the earth. We pray a special prayer for them and their families. We pray that their families will provide patience when the men need it; we pray for peace and quiet when they are restless; and we pray for a loving hug for them when they feel unsettled in mind. May their family members tune into their needs and comfort them. Grant them the knowledge of knowing what a wonderful blessing they received in having their loved ones with them once again. Our prayer is that the families will dedicate their lives to You and prove to the world that one can walk away from darkness into the light and the loving arms of Christ the Lord. Amen.