The Light of Life Magazine
A ministry of Christian writing

March 2011


Suresh Manoharan

Some spiritual lessons from the experience of the Chilean miners.

August 5, 2010. For a bunch of 33 men, it was going to be a routine 'day in the office.' Only that their office was a good 2000 feet below the earth's surface, their 'office cubicle' nothing but layers and layers of mud mixed with copper and gold on all sides, their 'office equipment' drilling machines, spades et al and their business 'mining yellow metals.' Their 'office premises' caved in for no fault of theirs. For the next 69 days these men did not see the light of the day, both literally and figuratively, and only on 13th October, 2010, after virtually shaking hands with death, did they emerge out of the 'black hole' to the spontaneous cheers of the local Chilean crowd and the global TV audience. Yes, I am speaking about the saga of the Chilean miners, whose visage, as they stepped out one by one from their life-saving missile-shaped capsule, said it all! Steely determination, gratitude, relief, joy and what not! Are there any spiritual lessons to be 'mined' from the spine-chilling experience of Chilean miners? Yes, it brings to the fore some chilling reminders besides some comforting, re-invigorating and challenging truths.

For no fault of theirs, there they were, the Chilean miners, trapped helplessly in the 'dominion of darkness', with seemingly 'no light at the end of the tunnel, till the rescue act began from 'above'. Oh yes, none of us is responsible for eating the 'forbidden fruit' which tragically resulted in the 'earth caving in around mankind. Our grandparents are responsible for that one big fatal slip (Rom.5:12)! Cheer up! For us too, trapped down here on earth, rescue act began from 'above, with the Saviour Himself finally descending down into the miry, dark pit of sin to save us all trapped in it from eternal death (Col.1:13-14).

The entire rescue act stood out for team work, with several people pooling in their minds and resources, even as they bailed out the trapped miners. 'Team Trinity' also worked in perfect unison to bring about our release from the dominion of darkness. Consider this Scripture verse. "...who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood" (1Pet.1:2). So much so about our salvation it is said, "God thought it, Christ bought it, Holy Spirit wrought it, though devil fought it. Praise God, I got it"!

Redemption, One At A Time
The Chilean miners emerged safe in their rescue capsules one at a time from their "grave that held them in its grip for 69 days." Hey, salvation from our 'grave of sin' is also given on one-on-one basis. None can get a passport to heaven on the basis of noble deeds of his pious parents or grandparents. Piggy riding on the back of someone else, wouldn't do at all, when it comes to salvation! Every one has to seek his salvation personally (Jn.3:3)! And just as the missile-shaped capsule, painted in the colours of the Chilean national flag, was the only life-saving device for the miners, the cross 'painted' with the blood of Christ is the only way of salvation for us (Jn.14:6;Gal.5:11)!

Quite striking, this similarity, right? Now the Chilean miners didn't have any reservation nor did they argue about the life-saving capsule being lowered into the pit for their deliverance. There were simply no choices offered to them. There was only one choice! They jumped at it! Friend, have you taken your 'leap of faith' (Rom.10:8-10), landing into the safe arms of the Saviour, as it were (Jn.1:12-13)? Let me affirm, there is no other way out (Rom.1:16)!

Oh yes, Chile rejoiced, and so did the world at large on the safe passage of the 33 miners from 'death to life'. Praise God, at the 'safe passage' of even one sinner from eternal death to eternal life, all of heaven rejoices (Lk.15:7)! Staggering truth, this! If the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was right there to welcome the miners and usher them into a 'new life, so was the father (symbolising God) of the prodigal, when he emerged out of his 'cocoon of sin' (Lk.15:20)! Should we not welcome every individual who steps into the portals of a church seeking the Saviour, whatever be his/her sinful background? Yes! Do I hear that one person has just come into the family of Christ? Join me, it's party time (Lk.15:22-24)!

Stripped of all the fanciful trappings, evangelisation is simply sharing the good news that Christ is ready to save everyone from their sins. Taking Christ's Last Commission seriously (Matt.28:18-20), His disciples braving all odds went to the ends of the world. (By the way, do you know Chile is one of the ends of the world?) Were Christ's disciples' successful? Want proof? Take it. Christians are in majority in Chile now! Is not Sebastian Pinera, a Christian name? Forget going to the ends of the world. Have you reached out to your neighbourhood with the Gospel? Herald this year in your neighbourhood with sweets, gifts and Gospel tracts! By doing that, let me assure you, you would be sending chill down the devil's spine! Hallelujah!

Light of Life