A Cave Rescue
(Photo from YouTube video by WION)
We recently saw a real miracle here in Thailand. Twelve boys and their soccer coach were rescued from a cave in Northern Thailand after more than 16 days trapped by flood waters. I did not realize this was capturing the world’s attention until I spoke about it with a friend in America. From what I understand you would have had to have been trapped in a cave to have not heard about it.
The Thai Navy Seals issued a statement that read, “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave.” The spirituality of this rescue is complex in a land of folk buddhism. The name of the cave, Tham Luang Nang Non, literally means “the cave of the reclining lady.” It is named after a princess who, according to Thai mythology, committed suicide after she was forbidden to be with her commoner love. Her body became the mountains and the cave. She is now the ruling spirit over both.
As I read bits and pieces about the rescue as they were slowly being released, I couldn't help but see the powerful spiritual symbolism woven within this story. The boys were facing certain death in a cave and brought into freedom and life. But to get there they were sedated unconscious and essentially brought out by their rescuers through no effort of their own. The divers knew that fear, panic and the resulting resistance from those emotions would lead to almost certain death in these boys. Instead, the boys had to trust the diver to carry them to safety and simply surrender their lives to them. They could not be sure of the outcome; they simply had to have faith.
Our salvation is lot like that. Unlike the cave rescue, we know our salvation rests on the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Because Jesus passed from death to life, so shall we. But to get there, we must essentially die, stop fighting and trying to save ourselves, and trust our lives to our Rescuer who will not disappoint us.
From God’s perspective, going from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light is a joy.
From the perspective of man, it can be a terrifying journey, especially here in Thailand. According to reports, these boys were all blindfolded as they exited the cave because after 16 days in darkness, the light can be blinding. The darkness in Thailand can be very dark, which makes the light seem that much more powerful and terrifying. But nothing disinfects quite like the sun, and nothing heals our souls the way the Light of Christ can if we’re willing to take those frightening steps into it.