This past week marked the one-year anniversary of the rescue effort of the Thai football club boys who got stuck in a flooded cave, an ordeal that lasted from 23 June to 10 July 2018. It captured the attention and imagination of the world and will be remembered for many years to come. In fact, this year saw the inauguration of an annual marathon to commemorate the successful rescue effort, while a movie is in the making to show the efforts of people from around the world to bring the boys to safety.
The boys were cut off from life outside the cave when flood waters from heavy rain blocked their way out. It took a major effort simply to locate them, and when they were miraculously found alive after many days, it became dangerous even just to reach them and even more risky to try to bring them out of the cave. In the process one experienced diver lost his life when he ran out of air, but in the end the boys all reached safety, only because of the help of professional divers and rescuers.
Afterwards the boys needed the help of counsellors and advisors to assist them in dealing with their trauma, coming to grips with the death of a rescuer, and (I think) receiving guidance in wisely dealing with money (from the movie rights), as well as deciding on their own futures.
This made me think about our salvation. Without Jesus Christ giving up his life and without the help of the Holy Spirit, we too would still be “stuck-in-a-cave”, with no way out and no way of rescuing ourselves! Salvation is by God’s design, God’s initiative, God’s grace and God’s power. In the process of saving us, it cost Jesus his life and we can only be brought to safety if we trust Jesus Christ to save us, if we put our faith in Him and follow Him as his disciples.
But it does not end with salvation or being born again. The Bible tells us that God gave us his Holy Spirit as a Counsellor, Guide and Advocate. What a great Gift this is for us! As we journey through life here on earth, we are not alone. Jesus said that He is with us (Matthew 28:20), and the New Testament confirms that we are given the Holy Spirit to be with us (John 14:15-17), guide us (John 16:13), fill us (Ephesians 5:18), empower us (Acts 1:8). We are not alone and we were not left to live life in our own strength or wisdom. We have Someone to guide and lead us all the way! Our responsibility is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide us each step of the way. May we experience the love, power and presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our church!