It is a nightmare one can hardly imagine. Buried alive, half a mile beneath the surface of the earth, thirty-three miners in the country of Chile have been trapped for the past 66 days. Day after day. Week after week. They knew it would be this long or longer. But as rescue efforts to bring the thirty-three miners out of a collapsed mine near the final stage, the excitement in Chile and around the world is irrepressible. Drilling experts have been at the scene for the past weeks relentlessly drilling through layers of rock. Hundreds of feet down they went, then thousands. Yesterday the drill broke through, today casing is being set in place. And, all being well, a capsule just barely the width of a man’s shoulders will be lowered down for one man after another to be extracted from what might have been their grave. The dangerous part begins now.
There is an apt metaphor here for salvation. The men are in a dilemma they can do nothing about–and so it is with us and our sins. We can’t dig our way out of our spiritual hole any more than those miners could. They are trapped in darkness. So it is with our spiritual crisis. We are trapped, and we cannot see our way one step forward unless the light of Christ is brought to us. The salvation of the miners underground is coming at great cost–millions of dollars, thousands of workers, the best expertise in the world. So it is with the spiritual salvation we all need. The Son of God gave up his own life, coming down into that cave that is this world, not only risking his life, but sacrificing his life.
How have the men endured being buried alive for 66 days? How have they not gone mad? One reason only–they have hope. They know that the experts above ground know how to make a way to them. And they know that there is a way that they can be extracted. Above ground a gathering of friends, fellow-countrymen, and media from around the world have gathered. The atmosphere today is like a carnival. They call the whole scene Camp Hope.
If you know someone who feels like life’s circumstances have them too deeply buried, too plunged into darkness, too hopeless, remind him or her that thirty-three men in a cave a half-mile underground have not given up hope.
God has opened a way. We can get out.