Good news from a distant country

In the book of Proverbs in the Bible we read, “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant country.” These words came to my mind as I watched the 33 miners in Chile being brought safely up from their underground prison. Very little of the news we hear and see each day is good news. The news is overwhelmingly bad. But here was a good news story and it was a privilege to see pictures of this remarkable rescue. It made me thankful to God for his goodness to these men and their families.

The men have wonderfully been delivered from what seemed like certain death. An international rescue operation has succeeded in a much shorter time than had been anticipated. Human skill and technologically advanced equipment provided a way of escape. In our world some human beings do evil things and cause great suffering to other people. It was so encouraging to see the great potential for good when people use their God-given talents so effectively.

It was refreshing to hear the Chilean leaders and the miners expressing their thankfulness to God for the successful rescue of the men. One of the chaplains said their prayers had been answered. He also said that some of the men had had an encounter with God while they were in the depths of the earth and had been conscious of the presence of Jesus with them.

Times of crisis sometimes drive people away from God, but they can also draw us nearer to him. Facing imminent death raises big questions. We are all very vulnerable and are hearts can be gripped by fear. At such times our faith is tested. The best thing we can do is to come to God and ask for his help. In Jesus Christ he promises a future and a hope.

The Chilean miners were ordinary men doing a very dangerous job. They and their loved ones, the Chilean nation and people all round the world prayed to the living God for their deliverance and he graciously answered their prayers. It may be that you, too, are facing a crisis in your life. The words of David in Psalm 34 are a real encouragement to us all, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from my fears. This poor many called, and the Lord heard him, he saved him out of all his troubles.”

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