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January 1, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | January 1

Buried Alive

The things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9–10

On August 5, 2010, 33 men were buried alive in a mining accident at the San José copper and gold mine in northern Chilé. The accident occurred 2,300 feet underground and three miles from the mine’s entrance. Initial rescue efforts failed and the miners seemed doomed. While estimates vary, some 800 tons of stone sealed the men inside. Luis Urzuza, the team’s leader, stared at the flat wall of stone and thought, “It is like the stone they put over Jesus’ tomb.”

Two weeks after the accident one of the exploratory holes that had been drilled broke through near where the men were huddled in a small chamber. When the drill returned to the surface, a note was attached: Estamos bien en el refugio los 33: (“All 33 of us are fine in the shelter.”) Now the challenge was to get them out.

Everyone has trauma. And while half the battle is discovering the wounds, the harder part is dealing with them. Unresolved pain keeps us stuck in shame or fear or guilt and we live out of it if we “bury it alive.” It blocks us from becoming the men Jesus wants us to be.

God says we must deal with things that have happened in our past, rather than just ignoring them. Jeremiah rebuked the leaders of Israel, saying, “They dress the wounds of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). Lip service won’t suffice. The light returns when we allow the Holy Spirit to bore holes into the deep, dark shafts and do “soul mining.” Counseling is important, vulnerability is critical, but the most important way to heal the deep-down wounds is to allow the Holy Spirit to drill into you. Painful? Yes. But ultimately worth it.

Jesus, give me the strength to go through the healing process so nothing is left buried alive.

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