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Reflections

Osbaldwick and Murton Parish Link

August 2018 - Led From Death to Life, From Darkness to Light

Last month people all over the world were held in suspense and amazement as the media followed the rescue of thirteen boy footballers, and their coach, trapped by floodwater deep inside a cave in Thailand. The world held its breath to see if this seemingly impossible rescue could really succeed. Then came delight and relief, as we heard that everyone had been brought out safely - a joy shared not only by the families but by countless others.

Here are two wonders: first, the rescue itself, which was a monumental achievement, demanding tremendous skill, ingenious planning, phenomenal courage and enormous determination, not only by the rescuers - several of whom were British - but also by a multitude of support workers. Sadly, one diver lost his life, while three others nearly died. All this demonstrates that wonderful things happen when people co-operate wholeheartedly in the face of overwhelming danger.

The second wonder is how the children and their coach survived for nine days until they were found. They were four kilometres (more than 2 miles) underground, in almost total darkness, with no food and the only water was that dripping from the roof of the cave, not knowing when or if they would ever be found. As it happened, their coach, a former Buddhist monk, taught them to meditate, keep calm, be positive and stay close together, thus saving them from all-consuming fear and despair. He brought light into their darkness and kept them hopeful. When they were eventually found their relief must have been overwhelming. Although the danger was not over, they must have realised that they would probably survive, as they were told that 'many people are coming'.

This amazing event can teach us many lessons. Skill, courage and determination in the service of others are part of our human nature. To the eye of faith, this is because we are all made in the image of God, so possibilities are boundless. Again, peace and calmness in the face of danger are spiritual gifts, which come from God, who holds us in His limitless love, as is demonstrated most clearly in all that Jesus said and did.

'Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for you are with me.'. (Psalm 23)

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