Monday, November 8, 2010

HOPE FOR TODAY: Lifted to Freedom

“Are they alive?” Friends, family and the world all wondered after the Chilean gold and copper mine collapse on August 5. Meanwhile, 2,300 feet beneath the surface 33 miners began desperate attempts at escape and survival. Efforts to find a pathway out or to send up signals to identify their location all ended without success. There the 33 men sat, in an emergency shelter, the size of a living room, with a 48-hour supply of food, water and limited medical supplies. As the weight of total darkness, dust and despair rested upon them they wondered if that mine would also become their grave. Survival was up to them, but a rescue was not. Their fate rested in the hands of others.

Back on the surface, the Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera, called out to his nation and the world to help rescue these men. And the response came. Businesses, governments and individuals gave sacrificially. Then on day 17 a breakthrough came! Contact was made with miners through a hole the size of a grapefruit that was bore through the rock. Hope along with much needed supplies came to them. No one knew that the miners would need to face an additional 52 days before hope would come a second time. And it came on October 13, after 800 people worked night and day to finally bore a hole through the rock where they could be lifted to freedom.

In a way, many of us are like the miners. We are trapped beneath our sin and brokenness. We may feel like there is no way out and that hopelessness and despair are all around us. Yet, we are unaware what is taking place in heaven. There, God knows our situation. He has decided not to leave us to ourselves. Jesus, His only Son, was sent to earth to suffer, die and rise again to show us the way to freedom. God has released His message of good news through people all over the world. This good news is our hope. It is our rescue capsule. If we will only reverse our sinful ways and cling to Jesus, then we will be lifted to freedom.

Miner, Jose Henriquez, led prayer services twice a day, calling upon God for His help. A Christian ministry got them the Jesus Film on mp3 players along with Bibles. Soon they realized there were 34 miners, not just 33. God was with them. Henriquez wrote a note with a Scripture verse quoting Psalm 95:4, "In his hand are the depths of the earth, and mountain peaks belong to him."

You may feel trapped. Recognize God is there. He’s waiting for you to call out and trust Him with your whole heart. Now you will find your hope for today.