Just a few weeks ago, the world watched as 33 Miners in Copiapo, Chile, were rescued from a cave nearly half a mile in the earth to cheers and tears of a grateful nation and a watching world.
This story reminds me of my rescue to new life in Christ and of our mission as the church to reach a lost world.
These miners were in a cave of darkness with no pathway to life. They were trapped in fear, hopelessness and, for 69 days, they lived with a constant reminder of their death to come. Without Christ, mankind is trapped in a cave of doubt, fear, hopelessness and death.
With little hope to reach the miners, rescue workers drilled through solid rock for nearly 40 days until finally they broke through the rock to the cave below. These rescuers provided the only way out. The rescue tube then became the vehicle of deliverance. Jesus is our rescuer! He is the only way to life.
I watched as the journey began for the first miner who climbed into the rescue. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to journey through 2,047 feet of solid rock during this 17-minute journey to life above.
It must have felt like the longest trip of his life.
I am still on a journey in Christ. At times I don’t see much progress, and sometimes fear and doubt creep back into my heart and mind. But my confidence and comfort comes from faith in God’s goodness, strength from God’s Word and an expectation of the day I will see Jesus face to face.
The rescue workers were committed to the task until all were rescued. We, the church, are the rescue workers. We get the joy of seeing people rescued, the purpose of bringing the Rescuer to people in the "cave," and the responsibility to serve until all are rescued and the mission is complete.
The world watched this live video feed for hours to see the dramatic event unfold. In Hebrews, the Bible says that we are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.” In our mission, we have an audience of many and the example of those who, by faith, went before us. They have finished their race and now have received their reward.
I watched as the Fox News channel showed the last miner exit the tunnel and the news reporter declared that all 33 Miners had been rescued. That was when the Chilean president said, “Mission accomplished!”
As the church of Jesus Christ, our task is driven by the love of God that compels us to preach until all have heard and until the last trapped person is rescued. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV).
I look forward to the day when we hear God say, “Mission accomplished!”
By: Dan Mundt, district supervisor of the Heartland District