Two mules were issued with a death certificate in 1913. The certificates are displayed at the No 9 Mine Museum in Lansford Pennsylvania. Mine mules were considered more valuable than mine workers and received more care than the men.
In the United States, some of the oldest mines used mules to pull the coal cars inside and outside the mines. One coal company owned up to 1000 mules. Many people think that the mules became blind because they lived in the darkness of the mines, but this is not true. The mines were equipped with mule stables which were kept lit at all times. If the miners were on strike or during shut downs, the mules would be taken out to pasture and outdoor barns.
Mules were greatly valued, and considered more valuable than a mine worker. Every mule driver was held strictly responsible for the safety of all animals in his custody. Abusing a mule brought instant dismissal. The mules received regular medical treatment. They were given frequent rubdowns with horse liniment. Each driver was ordered to be in the mines by at least 4 a.m. to curry, feed and baby his mules in preparation for a hard day’s work.
An Act of Legislature outlawed the underground mule stable in December 1965, making it illegal to house animals in mines.
What lessons can a Christian learn from the mine mules?
1. The mine mules were greatly valued.
Every blood-bought, adopted child of the living God is of IMMENSE VALUE to Him.
Consider that God was willing to send His Son to endure the harshest of all physical, mental and emotional stress and pain; knowing that His sinless, perfect Son would become sin; and that because of it, they would be separated for the only time in all eternity as He poured out His wrath on our sin in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin,
to be sin for us,
that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
God freely gave His most treasured possession in order to redeem us. Therefore, we are very precious to Him.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
2. The mine mules received the very best of care.
They were given a carer, were physically cared for and well fed.
They were given light, rest and comfort.
Every blood-bought, adopted child of the living God is kept by the power of God and showered with the abundance of His blessings.
We are given a Carer – the Holy Spirit, who indwells and abides with us, and will never leave us. He leads and guides us; teaches and challenges us; gives understanding, convicts and corrects us; empowers and enables us; comforts and encourages us – and more.
He shall be in you
He shall teach you all things
He will guide you into all truth
We are well cared for. We have a Burden-Bearer who calls us to cast all our care on Him. [1 Peter 5:7] We are called to rest in Him and draw comfort and strength from Him. We are given His Light, which He wants to shine forth to others. [Matthew 5:14, 16]
Above all, He has supplied us with food – not just food, but an abundance of food, in His Word, which gives us all we need to live victoriously for Him.
1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word,
that you may grow thereby.
Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds;
tie them as symbols on your hands; bind them on your foreheads;
teach them to your children.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
The questions remain:
Considering all that God has done to redeem us unto Himself;
considering all He has provided to enable us to live victoriously for Him;
considering His abiding presence,
always with us to strengthen, enable and use in His service . . .
How available are we to Him?
Considering we have continual access to Him 24/7
How often do we acknowledge His presence
and talk with Him as not only our Father,
but as our Friend and Sustainer of life?
Considering the full and complete revelation of Himself in His Word;
its answer to every question in life
and its promised help in any time of need,
How often do we feed on it,
seeking to know Him more intimately; receive from Him more clearly
and follow Him more closely?
Mine was the shame, the penalty.
The sin was mine. It was for me
He felt the nails, the thorns, the spear.
For love of me the scars appear
In hands and feet and side and brow.
Beholding them I can but bow
Myself a living sacrifice
To Him who paid so dear a price.
Bob Jones Jr.