For a moment, try to imagine what being trapped like that must have been like. It's impossible to comprehend how it must have felt, both mentally and physically, to be in that dark, hot and inaccessible place so deep in the earth. For the first 17 days, those 33 men were completely shut off from all contact....surviving on tiny rations of food and drink, not knowing if help would come. They were in a confined space, with the temperature hovering around 90 degrees and humidity at 80%, no fresh water, no bathroom facilities, none of the comforts we take for granted on a daily basis. Can you imagine??? How easy it would have been to give in to fear and despair.
Yet, they apparently remained calm and organized, drawing strength from their shared Faith and training.
Once they were found to be alive, the nation of Chile went to work on their dramatic rescue. They brought in experts and help from around the world and started drilling a shaft through solid rock to reach the men. Early estimates were that the miners wouldn't be rescued until around Christmas, but here we are, in mid-October, watching each man lifted out into the fresh air and reunited with his loved ones.
My hat is off to the Chilean government for their handling of this entire situation! To see their President stand at the rescue site and personally greet and welcome each miner as he emerges, to hear of the united effort of the government and people of Chile to bring a happy ending to this story. I think we can take a lesson from the strong and faithful people of this country who focused only on the successful rescue of these men. There was no finger-pointing or blaming for the situation; there was no sensational use of the event for political gain. The attitude of the country was one of determination and unity.
One of the first miners who emerged from the narrow rescue capsule made this statement ~
"I have been in a place with God,
I have been in a place with the Devil.
I reached out to God."
WOW!!! That simple statement leaves me speechless with its sheer power and wisdom. I want to dwell on it, bury it deep in my heart, and aspire to be able to utter the same words.
With the emergence of each man, I feel renewed Joy and am so thankful for the Miracle of their rescue! God is so good!!!