many miracles amid the not so mundane came together; they came together as we watched, wishing to witness a miracle — we waited, we held our breath (while they swam underwater through dark, tight channels) we prayed for a miracle times thirteen and the miracle came to pass with the rescue of the twelve soccer players and their coach. Against all odds, against all current circumstances to the contrary, the thirteen were brought out of the cave alive. I was captivated along with the rest of the world, as we watched and waited for each new development to unfold. These boys; our sons, our brothers, our nephews, our neighbors; we all held them in our hearts as we watched their story play out before us.
and the story is not over by any means, the boys are in a hospital recovering from their time in the darkness of the cave, while the world exhales in relief and celebrates the many miracles that had to happen in order to make this rescue mission a success. The news used the phrase “from mission impossible to mission accomplished.” Will we ever know all the untold stories that went on behind the scenes while we watched from the outside looking in?
Members of the rescue team were asked, “science or a miracle?” But the two are not mutually exclusive. Science over the centuries has always shown us the many miracles inherent in creation, just waiting for us to discover them so that we might learn what they reveal about our Creator. The story of this miraculous rescue is made up of many miracles, each contributing to the final outcome of a successful rescue from the cave.
The first of many miracles occurred when British divers found the thirteen alive in the flooded cave nine days after they had gone missing. Their search had come to a happy end in finding the soccer players and their coach alive after nine days, but the end of the search was the beginning of the rescue mission which followed. One miracle was not enough, many more would be needed in the days to come.
So the world continued to wait and to watch; and while the world was watching, engineers, divers, doctors, and many other rescue workers from multiple countries, worked round the clock and against the clock, as oxygen in the cave ran low and the monsoon rains approached. It was a miracle the boys were found, it was a miracle they were all still alive, it would take a miracle to get them all out in time. The clock was ticking, the rains were coming.
People from many countries came together, worked together, to accomplish the tasks that needed to happen in order to get everyone out of that cave successfully. Each person brought a different skill set to the table, each one needed in order for the rescue mission to have a good outcome. We were witnessing God’s mercy and love in action even if we did not recognize it at the time or call it what it was.
Because a miracle by any other name is still a miracle. Calling it coincidence does not explain away what is inexplicable through human effort and circumstances alone. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ ” (Matthew 19:26)
The conditions in the cave presented the divers and other rescue personnel working in the cave to reroute the water and widen the escape route, with impossible obstacles; “but with God . . . ” and so we held our breath, prayed, watched and waited . . . until the miracle was complete
and if we still weren’t convinced of the miracle we had just witnessed, what happened next should leave no doubt. Within an hour of the last four boys and their coach being evacuated from the cave, the main water pump, which had been pumping millions of gallons of water for days in order to decrease the water levels in the cave, FAILED and the cave began flooding immediately. Some Thai navy members and support teams, who were still in there, clearing out the cave, barely made it out in time, leaving behind some three-hundred oxygen tanks.
I’m certain in that moment when the pump stopped working, those involved in the rescue realized all too clearly what the outcome would have been if they hadn’t been able to evacuate everyone when they did. Yet another evidence of God’s miraculous, undeserved mercy toward us all.
There is a book in the Bible, Esther, that tells a story but never mentions God by name at all. Yet God is the main character of that story. God is behind the scenes in Esther’s story, orchestrating all the events that take place, for the protection and the good of His people. God is not absent, nor is He silent.
God is also the main character of our current cave rescue story, even though He is never mentioned by name. While we were watching the story of the soccer players in the flooded cave unfold, we were watching simultaneously our Heavenly Father at work in every detail of the rescue operation. He was present in the thousands of details that had to come together at the right time in the right way for the rescue effort to be successful. Truly, we were witness to a miracle story; a story comprised of miracle after miracle (not coincidence after coincidence) from beginning to end.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 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, Your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.” (Psalm 139:7-12)
“Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” (Micah 7:8b)
yes, even in the darkness of a flooded cave . . . God is there
sincerely, Grace Day