Posts Tagged ‘33’

Thanking God For The Rescued Miners: Today I’m A Chilean

October 13, 2010

The Chilean miners have spent 69 days in a dark, hot, humid hellhole.

They were under the ground for seventeen days, surviving on 200 calories a day, drinking water they salvaged from equipment radiators, or groundwater they dug out of the earth, before anyone knew they were alive.

It was after those 17 days that the surface world managed to send a probe down to the 2,000 feet underground depths where they were holed up.  The miners scratched a note on the probe that said, ““Estamos bien en el refugio los 33,” or, “All 33 of us are well in the shelter.”

Amazingly, against all odds, and beyond all hope, they survived.

Even more amazingly, they survived without killing each other.

What a feel-good story, as these men come out of their graves, one by one!

Their country reached out to the world for help – and help came.

But this is Chile’s moment.  And I hope the whole country basks in the same light that I’m sure those miners are or will soon be joyfully basking in.

I heard a billion people have watched at least part of the rescue.  I’m one of them.  And I’ve had tears in my eyes.

When I heard about the collapse, I prayed with hundreds of millions of others for survivors.  But when I heard that 33 men had survived, and that it would be months before they could be rescued (if they even could be rescued), I was daunted.

What would it be like to spend that kind of time with 32 other men in a dark hot hole 2,000 feet under the ground, not knowing if you’d ever come out of that hole alive?

I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like.

And then I saw the video of the miners, who seemed … content, even happy.

What amazing men.

And what amazing faith.

One of the miners named Jimmy Sanchez said, “There are actually 34 of us, because GOD has never left us down here.”

Another miner, Mario Sepulveda, said, “We 33 miners are walking hand in hand with God.”

That same minder also said, when he finally came up from what should have been his tomb, “I was with God and I was with the Devil, they fought me, but God won. He took me by my best hand, the hand of God and I held on to him I never thought for one minute that God wouldn’t get me out of there.”

The 27th miner to come out of the depths of the earth had the word “Dios” written on his mining helmet.  “Dios,” of course, means “God.”  He knew who got him out of that hole.

It was a miracle that those miners survived.

It was faith that enabled those 33 men to survive their ordeal.  Just as it was faith that motivated the magnificent men above to labor unceasingly to free those 33 men.

We can all imagine the hell that could have descended upon those men 2,000 feet under the ground; fighting like raving animals for the shrinking food supply, or banding into gangs that fought each other.  Faith kept them together.  Faith made them selfless.

In the same way, did the rescuers know that their rescue efforts would succeed?  Of course not!  It was faith, taking a step into the unknown, doing what was right, and praying that God would help them, that sustained that rescue effort for 69 long days and nights.

God can do anything.  But He loves most of all to work through people.

And today, after more than two months of working through people, we can all rejoice in a miracle.

May the world look at Chile, and bask in the very same sunshine that those dead-but-now-alive miners get to see this day.

Update, Oct 17: The shirts that most of the miners wore out of the mine said, “Thanks to God” on the front, and had Psalm 95:4 (“In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also”) on the back. And then under the Psalm appear the words, “To God be the honor and the glory.”

And on the sleeve of the shirts was the name “Jesus.”

[Youtube link]

The miners also asked that 33 Bibles be sent down to them.

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