10:06 AMHeather

My sweet friend, T, was really into the whole Chilean miner situation. Well, that's a bit of an understatement. We went on a little weekend get-away in the midst of it all, and T. needed to check the internet [often] for updates during our time together. The story of the 33 men trapped a half-mile below ground drew most of us in--and many of us became emotionally involved in this story. (Although, bless her sweet heart, you really might have thought T. had a family member down there...she was so broken hearted for them. I love her compassion!).

The rescue intrigued me, as well. It bought back memories of sitting at the Lampasas Badger football game in my drill team uniform when they announced that baby Jessica had been rescued from the well. (If you aren't a child of the 80's, you may not get this cultural reference). The tedious planning, man power, and cooperation required to save these men was a marvel. While watching each man come to the surface, kneel to pray, grab a loved one, or dance in celebration, I found it hard to keep a dry eye.

These men were initially presumed dead. Who could have fathomed they'd survive? For seventeen long days, they had no idea if anyone would ever come for them. It was pitch black and stifling hot. A rescue must have felt impossible...their doom must have felt inevitable. They were separated from all who loved them, and all they loved. I imagine a feeling of finality there, a sense of hopelessness.

Such a contrast to their rescue. I heard the commentators compare it to being reborn--coming into such overwhelming light that eyeglasses were required. Returning to love and be loved and reunited with all they held dear. I was mesmerized by their responses, and the speculation. Oh, the speculation of the post traumatic stress disorder and the physical ramifications--the concern about their eyes and how they might approach life after enduring all that they had?

Is this not us? I still feel I can hardly wrap my brain around it. Was I not living in darkness, despair, separation from love, and hopelessness before the hope of Christ? Was death not imminent unless a miracle beyond imagination occurred? Was Christ not that miracle?

And then, because He died on a cross to bring us into fellowship with Him, I was raised from that pit. I was brought out from uncertainty and anguish. I was brought into a light that I can still hardly grasp, with the hope of living in the even more overwhelming Light of Eternity? Was I not brought into new life and fellowship and love and reunion?

And, how--like the Chilean miners--do I wrestle with the post traumatic stress of my experience. While Christ rescued me, I bear scars of my past. I have wounds from my time in the pit. I have moments where I regress to where I was, where I fall back into a sense of despair. The accuser works constantly to keep me there--downed by these scars and the fear of what was. You see, he likes to keep me defeated--forgetful about the rescue that HAS happened.

But, the truth of it is that he loses. He may win a battle here and there, luring me back to what was...but Christ won the war. And, I wonder if when I meet Him face to face--will I need the sunglasses sported by the Chilean miners? Will I fall to my knees, tears streaming down my face, overwhelmed by the hope I am experiencing? Will I embrace Him and not let go--so amazed by that reunion?

Deliverence. What came for the Chilean miners after 70 days of darkness also came for us. Let us not cease to be amazed by it--day in and day out--focused on both the healing He gives for the wounds we've survived and the hope from the despair we've endured.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits--who forgives ALL your sins, and heals all your diseases, who REDEEMS your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles." Psalm 103:2-5

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