Opressed Souls Delivered to Solid Ground, Light, & Breath of Life
Remember this story? It's hard to forget...
Those boys on the Thailand soccer team…I recall thinking about my own boys, near to them in age, and then praying in tears for that team, imagining how freaked out my children would be, and how helpless and panicked I’d feel for them. Those treasured young ones stuck in seemingly inaccessible, cave-like air-pockets of dry space in a maze deep below the flooded terrain.
As days went on and tragic death by flood or starvation was imminent, the world and its mothers seemed to collectively hold their breath, as some of the most unusually gifted minds figured out an historically intricate plan to try and save them. Heroic navy seal divers from various nations risked their lives, one losing his, in the near impossible mission. Those divers shocked the world, making their way to the boys trapped in underworld terror. Each time, running out of oxygen and death was a highly likely possibility. Even the rarest, most trained divers had thought the mission was nearly impossible.
Yet they entered those horrific depths and took that risk for each team member, one by one. It was such a scary and daunting mission that the youth were medicated for anxiety and tethered to a diver before being led up in the dark, squeezing through tight, terrifying spaces with a limited amount of oxygen tank time.
It seemed those boys were ‘the world’s children’, valued above all estimates of risk or extent of effort. Miraculously, every member of that team was saved by those heroes, delivered to –
solid ground, light, and breath of life.
I imagined heaven, as well as the world and its mothers, collectively exhaling in holy relief and gratitude.
Isn’t that a great depiction of God’s loving heart for humanity?
We needed to be rescued from an even more impossible situation – sin and separation from the Almighty. The only hope was Christ, who became a curse in our place (Galatians 3:13), who plunged the darkest depths on every multidimensional level - for our sake. He carved us a pathway to victory with His own persecuted, pierced body. He is the rarest hero of all. His sacrifice alone made The Way because He alone is in very nature Love Incarnate.
Blood and water poured from His side because God is on our side and wants us by His side (never alone as Christ felt on our behalf upon the Cross). The highest, treasured one gave His last breath for humanity’s most monumental breakthrough – for us to live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28). The earth quaked, rocks broke, and the temple veil tore in two - for we are wanted and valued above all estimates. The Lord went to every extent to deliver His most treasured ones from all that seeks to hurt, confuse, or separate us from his love. Up and out from the tomb He emerged – Light of the World, our firm foundation, given for us to eternally have.
The heart of Christ is with us and for us in our suffering. He is the Author of Life who by being broken and poured out exposed how desperately God wants human creation released to experience life to the fullest forever. He is not an author specifically dispensing sufferings in this fallen world full of troubles and warring dimensions surpassing easy understandings. His suffering (not ours) conveys God’s compassion for our pains.
How about the most complicated multidimensional situations?
His heart unveiled and made known on the Cross extends in passion to hurting people who are oppressed in the most complex, less visible, harder to identify ways - analogous to how the soccer team was stuck - but even more. His active love reaches within, as well as beyond, our concepts of time. For example, there may be unresolved traumas from our pasts that we are not aware of which still cripple our connections with self, the Lord, and others. God has not moved past caring for our aching inner-child needs, even if we are unaware of them.
God’s true love is at once both vast and intricately intimate in ways beyond our conceptional frameworks. Consider those unaware that they are stuck in emotionally abusive/manipulative dynamics or beliefs (or even entire nations of people, such as North Korea, that have been largely brainwashed) - people who in a metaphorical way could be viewed as unknowingly trapped in distortions below the surface, while there is fuller, freeing truth and life above. They could be stuck, and yet be none the wiser – not even aware enough to know they should cry out for help to be seen, heard, and rescued. All such agonies relate to the purpose of the agonizing extent Christ went through to deliver treasured ones, lost and loved, whether they knew that was their state or not. God sees, hears, knows, and cares beyond all measure.
So, for each of us, and for those we are concerned for, there is a hero and hope.
There is nothing we have or are currently struggling with - that is more ugly, gruesome, offensive, overwhelming, scary, cursed, hopeless-seeming, shameful, traumatic or complex than Love Incarnate slain. Yet we hang up pictures of crosses and wear them as holy reminders that there is also nothing stronger than the overcoming power of God’s merciful love delivered at the Cross. We can take comfort in His heart for us, towards us, with us. He does not bring us anything that would seek to bury our lives of ‘fullness’ or leave us feeling far from His arms.
With whatever oxygen I have left on earth, I want to pursue discovering more of what God sees, hears, knows, and cares for in me and in others. How about you? It’s a journey that goes high, deep, and wide, daring to be tethered to love venturing through most vast and intricate spaces to deliver us to -
solid ground, light, and breath of life.