«l have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some» ( l Corinthians 9:22).
It was almost noon on June 3, 2018, when the Volcán de Fuego (TN: Spanish for Volcano of Fire) began its eruption. A large smoke column composed of ashes, pieces of rocks and hot gas shot up one kilometer into the sky then collapsed on the nearby mountainsides. In its path, an unprecedented destruction transformed the landscape into a deadly, burning gray mass. Meanwhile, Rubén Dario came home from work on that fateful Sunday and managed to call his wife on the phone to hear this heartbreaking message:
«Go and save your life; we are already dying.»
But the young man did not give up:
«I’ll take you out of there . . .
just be patient,»
But the place was guarded and the rescue team told him it was not worth going inside since everyone had already died. But they could not convince him and, with the assistance of some policemen and soldiers, he managed to save more than thirty-seven people, his wife and children included. His tenacity would not have been of much use if they had not been rescued by divine intervention. On the other side of the story, the thirty-seven people had found shelter in the house of a Christian pastor. In complete darkness, amidst toxic gas, with a river of lava at their feet and on the verge of giving up, they began to pray and asked God to help them while bearing the blistering heat. Surprisingly, a soft wind blew and they could clearly see the sky. Then, they gathered the strength to knock down a wall and get out of there. A light rain lifted their spirits and they were able to find a clear path which lead them to the place where they were rescued.
Have you noticed that each of the characters of this story did their best to be saved. It is true that no human effort would have been enough to save these lives, but human effort combined with divine power produced this successful rescue. Definitely, Rubén Dario put forth his best efforts. Likewise, those who prayed fought with all their strengths to make their rescue possible. Everyone that was involved fought and struggled, as if the success of the rescue depended entirely on them. They were all hopeful that God would bless their efforts.
Similarly, the salvation of the human race is only possible through divine intervention. However, the work of saving souls requires the diligent effort of human collaborators. «The secret of success is the union of divine power with human effort. Those who achieve the greatest results are those who rely most implicitly upon the Almighty Arm.» (Patriarchs and Prophets, ch. 47, p. 509).