On August 5, 2010, a cave-in at a gold and copper mine in Chile left 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet underground and 3 miles away from the mine’s entrance. Despite the fact that rescuers had no idea whether or not the trapped miners were dead or alive, rescue efforts began immediately. In the meantime, the trapped miners, who were very much alive, looked for possible ways of escaping the mine, but none could be found. There was nothing that they could do in their own power to escape the pit they were in.
After 17 days of drilling, one of the drill bits finally made its way into the underground shelter where the miners were located. From the surface, the drillers could hear tapping on the drill and when the drill bit was pulled back to the surface, a note was attached to it that read, “Estamos bien en el refugio, los 33.” (“We are well in the shelter, the 33 of us.”) Knowing now that, not one but all, of the miners, were alive and well, the rescue attempts continued with the goal of setting free every one of the 33 trapped men. Finally, after being trapped in the mine for 69 days, all 33 miners were rescued. Not one was lost.
In his second letter to believers in Asia Minor, Peter addressed the issue as to why Jesus had not yet returned as He promised He would. To God, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day (2 Peter 3:8). And, although Jesus has still not returned nearly two thousand years later, it is not because He is being slow about. Rather, Jesus is patient. Why? Because Jesus desires that everyone on this earth should come to faith in Him and receive the salvation that He gave His life to secure for us (2 Peter 3:9). Like the rescuers in the Chilean mining accident desired that all 33 miners would be rescued, Jesus desires that all people be saved.
Jesus will return as He promised, and when that day comes, all who are in Him, both the dead and the living, will be taken up to meet him in the sky and will be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The key here is that, in order to be among those who will be saved, a person must believe in Jesus, believe that He died for us, and be willing to turn away from sin and turn to Him. So while Jesus patiently waits to make His return, we as believers need to do our part in bringing as many as possible to faith in Jesus.