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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Joy began to ripple from a mine in Copiapo, Chile, last night. The ripple extended to faraway countries as the world watched the first of 33 trapped miners emerge from a dark chamber half a mile below ground. As I write this blog, the number of rescued miners stands at 12. We can only imagine the relief and joy the rescued miners are experiencing after 69 long days and nights in their sealed underground chamber. They owe so much to their own indomitable spirit, to the prayers of many, to the grace of God, and to the engineering genius and persistence of those who planned and performed the rescue.

My grandfather was killed in a mine explosion in Scotland, and my father worked in a mine when he was a boy. He always referred to the mine as “the pit.” “Jim,” he would say, “if we hadn’t left Scotland and moved to Canada, you would be working in the pit today.” That word “pit” occurs in Psalm 40:2 in several English versions of the Bible. King David wrote: “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God” (Psalm 40:1-3a).

I think we lost some spiritual treasures when many churches banished hymns from worship. When I watched the first rescued miner step out of the rescue capsule, I thought of the hymn, “He Lifted Me.” The first stanza says, “In loving kindness Jesus came My soul in mercy to reclaim, And from the depths of sin and shame Thro’ grace He lifted me.” The chorus follows: “From sinking sand He lifted me, With tender hand He lifted me, From shades of night to planes of light, O praise His name, He lifted me.”

Life may never be the same for the rescued Chilean miners. For sure, it is never the same for anyone who has been rescued from the depths of sin and shame by the grace of our loving Lord!