Let's Get Some Sulphur! Alive Series, Part 3

What remains of the old sulphur industry on White Island

"The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us." (1 John 1:2, NIV)

Captain Cook discovered a volcanic island off the shores of Northern New Zealand, near Whakatane and Tauranga. He named it White Island.

In the mid 1880s, the deposits of sulphur on the island attracted miners. Due to its anti-bacterial agents, sulphur was used primarily for medicine in those days (Hopefully it wouldn't burn anyone's stomach!). It was, naturally, also used to make the heads of matches (Smokers existed in those days as well!), and for sterilizing wine corks (It must have given some punch to the wine!).

At first all went well. The sulphur provided a good living for these miners. This came to an abrupt halt, however. What was meant to bring "life" or living to ten miners, actually resulted in devastating death, when in September 1914, part of the Western crater rim collapsed, creating what locals call a lahar, a type of mud/debris flow. The minors were literally buried alive.

Only one living creature came out unscathed: The camp cat! A few days after the accident, the cat was found by the supply ship, which had been unable to provide supplies due to the circumstances. The cat was dubbed "Peter the Great", as he was the victorious one over death.

The things people view as real life or living often lead them instead to real dying. Sadly many look for life in all the wrong places. These places may be fun at first, but sooner or later, when addiction hits, these become a burden that can't be shaken off. Life for these people becomes a living hell, where their only goals become to satisfy their addiction.

To experience real life, we need to stop in our tracks and start asking questions about the One called "Life" (See the verse above). Simply said: "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:12, NIV)

He brought us life by willingly dying on a cross in our place. After all, we had wondered away from the source of life and erred beyond cautiousness. Through His death we have been redeemed, and His resurrection three days later guarantees us that we can become free of the shackles that are burdening us, thanks to His merits. It also guaranteed us that we can experience real life, not just for a life time, but for eternity.

We may experience some happiness in life, but what happens when our beloved ones pass away or when we lose our jobs, our health, our friends, or our reputations? Where is real life then?

Those who get to know the One who is called "Life" personally will continue to enjoy real living, even in the bad circumstances. There will be some adjustments necessary, but through the grace of the One who is called "Life," we still will be able to enjoy life fully, as "Life" is now residing in us!

"Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." (1 John 3:24, NIV)

Real life can only be found in "Life."

Would you like to dig for sulphur? We never know when we might lose all electricity due to freezing rain!

Rob Chaffart

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