Ming Lee checked the readings again on the gauges in front of her. All of the readings were fine. The green light showing that the oxygen levels in the shafts shown brightly. "The air quality is good. The miners will breathe good air today." The exhaust fans hummed their steady monotone tune. The red light on the carbon monoxide monitor remained dark - a good sign.
Everything is functioning well, she thought to herself. She glanced out the window of the little shed that housed the mine office as a proud smile played around her lips. "This is the finest mine in China. We have never had an accident - never lost a miner."
Realizing the pride in her statement, she humbled herself and began to thank God. "Thank you , Father God. You have kept the men safe."
She settled into the foreman's chair. Though her eyes remained alert, a prayer bubbled up in her heart. This time a broad smile creased her weather-worn face. "Thank you, Father God, for my friends, Lin Wu and Su Wong. I would not have become a Christian if they had not told me about you. Thank you for the missionaries who told them your story."
Sadness began to choke her joy as she prayed for the heavy burden that weighed on her friends' hearts. "Help their husbands to learn about you too. Lord, my friends worry that there will be an accident and their husbands will die without knowing you."
As Ming Lee prayed, the faces of more miners passed before her eyes. Many she knew by name. She prayed earnestly for each miner and his family that God might be gracious and give each one a chance to believe.
Suddenly, a heavy sense of dis-ease swept over her body. Fear gripped her heart as she realized she had been praying rather than being alert to any changes on her control board.
Quickly Ming Lee checked the lights and monitors. The green light still shown brightly. The exhaust fans hummed their same monotone tune. The red carbon monoxide warning light remained dark. She scanned the mine yard. No sign of trouble anywhere. She breathed a sigh of relief, but couldn't shake the sense of impending doom that had come over her.
Something is very wrong. She tried to shake off the eerie feeling. Well, not wrong, exactly. It feels like the air before a storm, kind of thick and apprehensive.
"Pull the alarm lever!" It was as though an audible voice commanded her. She glanced quickly around the little office but saw no one.
Again she felt the firm command. "Pull the lever to clear the mine."
Ming Lee knew that if this was a false alarm, she could lose her job. Her young children would starve because no one would hire a foolish worker who cost her employer so much money.
A Bible verse Su Wong taught her leaped into her mind. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8)
No doubt remained. Though everything looked normal. Ming Lee leaped to her feet and pulled down the alarm siren with both hands. The sound reverberated through the small office as she held her hands to her ears.
The men began pouring out of the mine shaft. The foreman ran to the door of the small building, demanding answers for Ming Lee's foolish actions.
In all the confusion, no one noticed the slight trembling of the ground at first. But as it steadily intensified, the men began to shout, running for cover and for something solid to hold onto.
When the rumbling stopped and the dust settled, a large section near the mouth of the mine had collapsed. The foreman's face blanched as he hung his head and turned to Ming Lee. Everyone in the crown grew quiet when he began to speak. "If you had not sounded the alarm, many men would have been trapped inside the mine. I would have been with them. You saved our lives. How did you know?"
"I didn't know the ground would shake. But Su Wong and Lin Wu told me the stories about their God who has the power over floods and shaking ground. I believed their stories- I believe in this God. He told me to pull the alarm."
The foreman shook his head in wonder. "Why would a god do that?"
Ming Lee looked directly into the man's eyes and spoke firmly with conviction. "My friends had heavy hearts, fearing that their husbands would die in a mine accident before they could hear the stories of the true God and believe in him. I was praying for their husbands when God told me to pull the alarm. He saved them today so they would have a chance to believe."
As women wept tears of joy and men hugged their families, Ming Lee and her two friends began to pray with all who gathered around them desiring to believe in the God who had saved them from the mine collapse. That day, over 400 of the miners accepted Jesus as their savior including the husbands of Ming Lee's friends!
Fictional slice-of-life stories based on true events have the power to encourage us to trust the Voice of God we hear in our own spirits. We tend to question and second guess what we think he is saying. Yet when we listen, God does amazing things.
Can you remember any times in your life when you heard the voice of God telling you to do something specific? Did you listen or did you decide that it wasn't God after all? What happened because of your actions?
Have you ever considered writing down your experience? God could use your story to encourage others to hear and obey God's voice.