"If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, and your right hand will hold me fast." -- Psalm 139:8-10
Riveted to live coverage of the Chilean miner rescue operation, I watched with great anticipation as the first two of thirty-three miners were extracted from their shelter twenty three hundred feet below the earth's surface. Trapped for over sixty days following a collapse in the gold and copper mine in which they worked, it is a miracle any of them survived.
Intrigued by the video coverage coming across the internet, I began researching the collapse itself and came across the following report from CNN.com: "The mine collapsed August 5, blocking the main ramp into the mine. Thirty-one miners quickly found a 'workshop' in one of the mine's caverns, while two others followed an errant white butterfly to the refuge after the dust cleared." What in the world was a butterfly doing in a mine twenty three hundred feet underground? There is only one plausible explanation: God sent it there to lead those miners to a place of safety. The collapse of the mine may have been an accident, but the divine appointment of that angelic butterfly certainly was not!
The Bible is replete with stories of God's care for his children. Often he uses animal imagery to illustrate just how caring he is. Jesus said, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they" (Matthew 6:26)? In Psalm 91:4 we read, "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." "Refuge" is the very word CNN.com used to describe the place to which the errant white butterfly led the miners. My prayer is that in their subterranean shelter, the miners discovered "the LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him" (Nahum 1:7).
Although you may not be trapped a half-mile beneath the earth's surface, perhaps you feel trapped by your circumstances and the daily cares of life. No matter where you find yourself -- buried under a mountain of debt, mired in a pit of sin or self-pity, or gripped by depression and fear -- God is present with you. He is your refuge in times of trouble. If you put your trust in him, he will call you out of your darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).