DayBreaks for 8/27/15: The Power of Together
From the DayBreaks archive, 8/29/2005:
It hasn’t been that long – you may remember it. A few years back a tremendous human drama played out above and below ground in the Quecreek mine in Pennsylvania. A group of miners were drilling in a coal mine shaft. Unbeknownst to them, their map was wrong. They believed that they were hundreds of feet away from an old mine shaft that had long ago been flooded. As their drill bit broke through into the flooded shaft, millions of gallons of water began pouring into the mine where they were working. The water filled the lower section of the shaft and cut off their escape route to the surface. They were trapped in a cold, totally dark mine shaft.
I probably would have totally freaked out – I am claustrophobic, and one of my worst nightmares is to be trapped somewhere. But these men decided early on that they would live or die as a group. They wouldn’t split up, taking their chances as individuals. Whatever their fate held, they would face it together. And so days passed while rescue teams drilled a new hole through which the men might be rescued. As they huddled together in the cold, dark wetness of the shaft, when one member became too cold, they would all huddle around that man and hold them until they warmed up, and then they’d take turns warming others.
Eventually, the rescuers managed to reach the men and they were all rescued from several hundred feet underground. The rescue was shown on television. It took place at night, as I recall, when the first miners were brought up to the surface, soaked, dirty, but very, very happy to be alive. I was very moved by the images of the men coming up out of that dark pit.
As Christians there are powerful lessons in what happened to these men.
FIRST: it’s important to have the right map. If they’d not had an incorrect map, they wouldn’t have ever drilled the hole that let the water in. We can easily look for direction in the wrong places. Guidance must come from a reliable source. If you want truth, you must turn to the Truth.
SECOND: there was power in the men staying together. It’s easy to think that we can go it alone and survive. And in fact, rather than binding together as people who are going through an ordeal (make no doubt about it, we are living in a very serious and deadly situation), we often turn on one another and are more interested in scoring points rather than survival and helping one another live.
THIRD: waiting must be extremely hard to do when you are in a flooded tunnel with a diminishing air supply in total darkness. Yet these men realized that their best chance for survival was to stick together and wait for rescue to come. They could have untied themselves and tried in vain to swim through the pitch-black tunnels in search of the exit – and they would have drowned, almost certainly. As Christians, we need to tie and bind ourselves together with the love of the Lord, helping one another survive until the Rescuer from above appears. Scripture is full of admonitions to persevere, to wait upon the Lord and His time and will.
Romans 8:23-25 – Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
PRAYER: God, help us love one another truly from the heart and be united in love and by the family ties that bind us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.