Saturday, 23 October 2010

You are my Hope!!

Much has been written about the recent "miraculous" rescue of the Chilean miners, churches claim it as an answer to prayer, the Chilean government as a triumph for them and secularists as a triumph for humanities ingenuity. A story with a happy ending but sadly its not often like this.

As a Child I saw the tragedy at Aberfan unfold in the news, there was no rescue for most, just death under a slide of spoil from the coal mine. This year China has suffered a number of mining tragedies, one reported in April trapped and killed a number while others were saved, and another at the same time as the Chilean one killed 37. China alone loses over 2000 miners a year in such disasters.

I am happy for the miners and their families who were saved in Chile, but can't help asking the question, what about those that were not been saved in such disasters and their families? I wonder if they were able to find comfort for their misery and pain?

We all of us will find ourselves in difficult if not impossible situations in our lives. How can we take comfort in scripture when all around is chaos and confusion? One obvious place is Psalm 46, which talks of God who is our fortress in such times and the one who calls us amidst the confusion to "Be Still and know that I am God". But I think Psalm 71 and especially v14 is key in this; not simply calling on God but remembering who he is and recounting the things he has done, reminding us of the God that we worship, trust and have hope in (v5, 11). The psalmist recalls God in the good and the bad and talks of their hope in God who is their salvation.

Hope is the bottom line; if we hope and trust that God has saved us through Christ, eternally, then even though this life may prematurely end in some disaster or we lose someone we love, we can know that those who believe and trust in Christ will find new life, eternally with him. It cannot remove the pain of those left to mourn but it can provide the beginning of comfort. It was this hope in Christ that led Paul to be able to say in Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

As an after-thought, we hail the rescue of the miners - but who is asking why it happened, could it have been prevented and why in so many counties is mining so dangerous? Perhaps because life is not as valuable to the corporations who own the mines as the product of them and too many are forgetting the value God placed on us when he sent Christ to save us? We should value each life as God does - of inestimable value.

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