Coming up for Air

California’s Mojave Desert
Miners, Miracles, and Answered Prayers

It seems the whole world held its breath as 33 miners, trapped for 69 days in a collapsed mine in Chile, were rescued in an inspiring display of ingenuity, bravery, and international cooperation. The New York Times compared the rescue to that of the Apollo 13 mission.

I was one of countless people glued to the live feed on Tuesday night as the first miner was rescued.

33 families reunited despite seemingly impossible odds. Millions of fervent prayers answered. I believe the very heavens rejoiced. God is good.

But today, it dawns on me: for some of the millions who prayed about this potential tragedy, the answer to their prayers was a “no,” rather than the “yes” that thrilled so many of us as that first dusty miner set foot on the surface of the earth.

I bet that somewhere, someone opposed to mining was praying for a loss of life so that this accident could be made an example of the shortcomings of the practice. Maybe one of the trapped miners has a malicious in-law who wished him ill. Maybe another miner, feeling the weight of this world’s worries closing in, saw a tragic outcome as his ticket to relief from the burdens of earthly existence.

Contemplating this likelihood helps me to grasp our Savior’s words in Matthew 26:39: “Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.”
Even Jesus trusted God in the toughest of circumstances. There’s a lesson in there for me.

26 Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?” 27 He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
Luke 18:26-27 (NLT)