Back To the Earth's Depths

In 2010, I wrote a reflection entitled, "From the Depths of The Earth," about the rescue of 36 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days. I remember being transfixed by the story and all its emotions, undergirded with a hesitant hope.

Those same emotions, and remembrances of the story in Chile, resurfaced over the past week as 12 soccer players and their coach were found alive in a cave of Thailand. Celebration at their survival quickly became an urgent operation of complex rescue, then a slow, long road back to celebration. Two different countries. Two different times. Both stories begin in the depth's of the earth. Both stories end with rescue.

We are all a people in need of rescue. We are also a people in recovery. Long after the news cameras go home, and the headlines change, healing and wholeness are still in progress for the miners, the soccer players, and all of us. In Jesus Christ we find the Word made flesh, who descended into those cavernous depths not only to save us but to guide us towards healing. 

Let's return to the earth's depths of 2010 so that we might with thanksgiving be lifted higher with Jesus in 2018.....

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go to the heavens you are there.
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
— Psalm 139:7-8

"From the Depths of the Earth," Originally Published October 14, 2010:

This week international attention has focused on the nation of Chile. Thirty-six miners, trapped far below the earth's surface for over 60 days, are shuttled one-by-one from the depths of the earth. Prayers around the world have been answered as each man returned safely. It is truly a remarkable story with deeply spiritual lessons for us.

The psalmist speaks a truth that is beautiful but sometimes difficult to accept: "You are there." As each hour slowly passed below the earth, with seemingly no end in sight, was God really there? Surely the men struggled with this question. Surely we, who watched from the comfort of our homes, wondered where God was in all of this. Now, as the physical rescue has come to an end, psalms of praise and thanksgiving to God abound. We realize what the psalmist did. YES, God was there. And YES, God is here. We serve a God who is as present in the low points of life as high, who is with us in the hells as well as the heavens.

As the men receive medical treatment and return to their homes, our prayers should not end. Once confined, they must readjust to freedom. Once in darkness, the are reunited with the light. Physically, emotionally,and spiritually they have lived in a "pit" that is difficult to imagine. Psychologists will monitor them closely, and let us pray that their bodies, minds, and spirits are renewed to wholeness in these days that follow the drama of rescue. Let us not be a forgetful people but those who always remember that we've all been saved from the depths of the earth --by a God who is here, there, and everywhere.

all good things to each of you,

Pastor Darian