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A Weekly Devotional from the
South Green Street Church of Christ



What A Tragedy!
By Steve Higginbotham
January 4, 2006

On Monday, January 2, 2006 an explosion in my home state of West Virginia, possibly triggered by lightening, trapped 13 coal miners 260 feet below ground.  For two days, rescue workers worked day and night in an attempt to reach the miners.  Then late on Tuesday evening, it was announced that 12 of the miners were alive and only one had perished in the accident.  Families embarrassed each other, church bells rang out in celebration, and families joined arm-in-arm singing joyous hymns.  Then the unthinkable happened.  Three hours after the intentional announcement, another announcement was made, stating that 12 of the miners had perished and only one remained alive in critical condition.

What a tragic mistake.  My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this accident.  As the news recounted the terrible mistake that was made, I couldn't help but think of a few spiritual applications from this tragedy.  Please consider:

  1. The words of men are not always trustworthy.  Men can intentionally and unintentionally misrepresent the truth.  Consequently, truth cannot be determined by what men say, but by the word of God (Romans 3:4).
  2. Feelings are not trustworthy. The feelings and emotions experienced by the families of these miners upon being misinformed were just as real as the feelings and emotions they would have experienced if they had been properly informed.  The point is...our feelings do not determine truth (Proverbs 28:26).
  3. Imagine the surprise and devastation experienced by the misinformed families.  Their loss must have been intensified by being so sure everything was alright when it wasn't.  All hope was taken from them and they were left with only their surprise and devastation.  Likewise, how many people will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, assured in their own hearts of their own salvation, only to hear the Lord say, "Depart from me...I never knew you" (Matthew 7:21-23)?
As sad and tragic as this story is, it pales in comparison to the multitudes of people who will someday be surprised and devastated when they learn of their eternal destiny.  Give it some thought.


Copyright 2006, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky
Permission is granted to copy these articles.