On Saturday afternoon, I was almost in tears after hearing on NPR that the long awaited breakthrough to the Chilean miners trapped since August has been made. Their rescue is still some days away, but the hope this breakthrough represents is huge. There is so much bad news reported in the press that I think all of us need to applaud when news like this makes the front page. Read the story here.
As I reflected on this today I could not help but be reminded of the effort that God has made to burrow into my life and set me free too. Nor could I help but think about a friend of mine who is currently struggling with deep depression. Most of us have not been physically trapped in the way these miners are, but we have all experienced emotional and spiritual entrapment which we are not sure we can survive. And the thought of this tunnel reaching into the prison these miners are in gave me hope.
One mother talked about the fact that she is looking forward to the rebirth of her son. And it is very much a birth process that they are going through. Even the tunnel through which they will need to emerge is symbolic of birth imagery. And as they emerge it will be into a world that for them will never be the same again because of their experience.
Part of what struck me is that if our broken human race cares enough to spend so much time and energy rescuing these miners then imagine how much more God cares and is willing to expend time and energy to free us from our prisons. Sometimes in the midst of depression, pain and suffering we feel our lives are hanging by a thread. But God is digging a tunnel through which we can be reborn, brought to the surface and set free. And all around God are a cloud of witnesses, just like the relatives of these miners, waiting, hoping, praying, not willing to give up. Even though we can’t always see them in the darkness of our prisons, they continue encouraging us with their prayers and messages, assisting God’s rescue efforts wherever possible.
Thank God for glimpses of hope in the midst of despair. Thank God for the imminent rescue of these miners. And more than anything thank God for the wonder of God’s love and care.