Nine Coins in Quecreek Mine
“What woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ – Luke 15:8-10
Luke 15 is about lost things. There was a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son, and a lost sibling. Jesus by using parables taught the value of the individual to God. The shepherd went out seeking that one lost sheep. The Father of the prodigal son kept looking for the return of his prodigal son. The older brother of the prodigal son received patience and love from his father. And then there is the lost coin. The woman in the passage above searches her house until she finds the lost coin in her house. She finds the coin and is overflowing with joy. I love what Jesus says after telling about his woman. He says, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Did you catch that? The angels in heaven are filled with joy when just one person gives their heart to Jesus Christ, and is saved from eternal damnation in Hell. What a picture of the very heart of God! You see, the individual is important to God. He cares for you individually. He sent His Son Jesus to die for your sins. If you were the only human ever, God would have still sent Jesus to this earth on the mission to pay the price for your sins. Why; because you are valuable to God. There are over six billion people on this planet, and every one of them is special to God, even you! Don’t get the idea that you are just another number to God. God does not see you in such a light; rather He sees you as “the crowning glory of His creation.” He loves you and He aggressively pursues you (Ezekiel 34:11).
Allow me to illustrate this point by an event that unfolded years ago. Do you remember cliff hanging events that unfolded on July 24, 2002 at Quecreek Mine in southwest Pennsylvania for a group of coal miners? Nine of them were trapped underground for a period of three days an old mining shaft. When the accident occurred, they were working 240 feet within the earth when the mine flooded. The nation watched for three days on television to see if these men would be saved. When they were finally rescued, they emerged in various states of hypothermia, dehydration and near-starvation. But praise be to the Lord, all nine were alive and expected to recover from their ordeal. The newspapers across the nation listed the names of these miners. Their names were Thomas Foy, Randall Fogle, Ronald Hileman, Blaine Mayhew, David Mullen, John Phillippi, Mark Popernack, Robert Pugh, and John Unger. These miners were real people with real names. Though they were only numbered at nine, which is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the entire population of the United States, people still cared for them, and their deliverance. Think about all the time spent to locate and find them. Think about all the energy and resources used to save nine people. Why was all of this done for only nine people, when thousands upon thousands of people die every day; it was done because they were not just another number to the rescue team. They were valuable to someone.
In the same way, we are valuable to God. He is willing that none should perish, but that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Know this my dear friend; you are not just a dust particle in God’s vast creation. Rather, you are a valuable individual, and you are especially valuable to God! He bought you with a price, the price of his only begotten Son.
– Pastor Eric