When All Shook-up

My wife and I were on the 24th floor of a hotel in San Diego. It was around 2:00 AM when we were awakened by the shaking of the bed and rumbling. It was an earthquake we later learned measured 7.4 on the Richter scale, a numerical scale for expressing the magnitude of an earthquake on the basis of seismograph oscillations. The more destructive earthquakes typically have magnitudes between about 5.5 and 8.9. Our’s was a big one. If not, I don’t want a bigger one.

Getting up I saw the curtains swaying, felt the floor shake, and looking out saw water sloshing out of the pool. The entire building swayed from side to side. With each sway I thought it is going down with this one. Looking around I saw my wife curled up in the bed. I asked what she was doing. She said she was praying for our grandchildren, and asked what I was doing. I said, “I am praying for the grandchildren’s grandparents.” It was a shaking experience.

I processed what we should do. I knew not to use the elevator and the stairs were too many and risky. I had read if in an earthquake stand in the doorway. It provides the best support. I thought the reason they suggest standing in the doorway was so they could find our bodies more easily.

I kept reminding myself of the biblical principle that when death comes for the believer there is no fear. I had fear so in light of that factor I knew I was not going to die.

The shaking stopped, but I knew to expect subsequent shakes. There were and each one resurrected more uncertainty. It was a long frightful night.

Though things were shaking all around us there was within us a sense of stability. It wasn’t that there was no cause for concern, it was that there was a greater cause for calm. I kept reminding myself of  such promises as: “let not your heart be troubled,” and “… He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you…”

I knew that was a forever never with no exception ever, so that meant He was in the midst of the quake.

With the coming of dawn the quakes ceased and calm prevailed. Our experience proved to be a microcosm of life. Daily we have earthquakes that come in a variety of forms, things that tend to shake us up. In our uncertain times of instability He is with us. That does not mean things will always be alright, but it does mean we will always be alright in life or death.

Stability for unstable times must be cultivated in stable times. Cultivate a personal culture of being aware of His presence in all things. Anchor your soul in the fact “…He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you…”

There is a line from an ageless hymn, “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.” It is a daily ongoing personal relationship. Whether you feel like it or not He is there. Live by facts, not feelings.