Last night, America watched as the Chilean miners were pulled out of the ground after something like seventy days. Most of the people I know watching this believed it to be a miracle of sorts...a unique point in time where the results of waiting and working to free them was to be savored by the rescuers. The rest of us just enjoyed hearing or watching the miracle unfold. So many times, news of a mine tragedy has been on the news cycle for two days and then laid to rest along with the victims of the tragedy.
Not this time.
I remember a similar situation years ago when a little girl named Jessica fell down a well. I was watching when she was pulled out...dirty and wide-eyed...but alive. I remembered thanking God for the opportunity to witness a miracle and for giving us these opportunities from time to time to keep our faith fresh and buoyant. There is so much on the other side that can drag it down.
I know people in this life who are in need of rescue, but they appear to be quite normal, just walking among us. They live lives of "quiet desperation" and manage to get through pretty much everything while they are waiting to get through the valley or sometimes...to finish climbing the mountain. We see them every day and either choose not to get involved, feel it isn't our business, or are so wrapped up in our own selfishness that we can't make room in our lives for them.
Some of us try to feel better about it by sponsoring a child, volunteering to go on a mission trip, or taking a casserole to the home of someone who is sick. We pray for them while sharing the situation with others, we send cards with words that we hope will heal, or we just sit and listen while they work through their feelings of doubt, anger, or frustration.
Life is an ongoing process...and if we are still here...there is a function for us to perform. It may be as rescuer...or we may find ourselves at the mercy of others such as doctors, counselors, or emergency personnel...in need of rescue.
Recently, someone close to me has been through the wringer with regard to some relationship drama. After forty-seven years, I have seen my share of failures but I've also seen a significant number of phoenixes from the ashes, too. Because every relationship is different, so is every difficulty and resolution. I can give advice, but mostly these days I want people to face the facts, abandon false hope, and prepare for every eventuality. But I'll admit that I sincerely love to see something work out. Right now, I don't know if it will or if it won't. I just know that I am glad that I invested some time talking and trying to strengthen someone that I care about for whatever is headed her way. At least I know that she knows the truth about herself, all of her options, and what she must do to get through it.
Most of us would like to be rescued from quite a few things: boredom, a tedious existence, pain, sickness, a test we didn't study for properly, car trouble, people who creep us out, the IRS, and any other unpleasantness. What we don't realize is that sometimes when we are left in the pit to deal with whatever it is without deliverance, we learn an awful lot about ourselves in the process. We learn to plan properly, take care of ourselves, keep better records, and that some people are actually ridiculously amazing...if we can just get through that exterior of theirs or those annoying habits that give us pause.
I hope that today you will find comfort in knowing that there are many things that you are rescued from from which you are probably unaware. And if someone asks you how you are doing, instead of responding "hanging in there" you'll perhaps be like Dave Ramsey and say "better than I deserve." Because honestly, that's probably the most truthful response I've ever heard given. Because every one of us is blessed in some way beyond measure.
So, enjoy your day. If it has trouble in it, I hope that you will see the way out clearly. If you have been in the pit for seventy days like the miners...I hope that seeing them freed will give you some hope for your situation. And if you see someone else barely hanging on, I hope that you'll lift them up and place them on solid ground in any way that presents itself.
Have a blessed day.