So, California has been rockin and rolling lately. Earthquakes have a special way of reminding a person that nothing in life is stable. I remember being a kid during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. For those of you non Californians, or those of you new to the golden state, earthquakes are a seismic event in which the earth literally shakes underneath you. Californians know this simply, as a Tuesday. I know it as the Lord speaking loud and clear and waking me up from my stagnancy.
In that 94 quake, I lived about 10 miles northeast of the epicenter. The magnitude of this quake was pretty massive. It was registered as a 6.7 but I remember it feeling a lot harder than that. I was a child and all I can remember is that I was woken up at 4:30 in the morning to the blinds on our windows pounding against the glass. I was sleeping next to my mother who woke my sister and I up and as the woman of faith that she is, she rushed us to our knees at the foot of the bed so that we could pray for the shaking to stop.
The shaking was so intense that my grandmother who was sleeping in another room barely made it out to meet us as we all tried to walk our way down a flight of stairs as the whole house was groaning. My older sister was screaming for the dog while I was trying to walk barefoot and pants less (I was a kid, mind you) down a flight of stairs to get to our table. My grandmother, my mom, my sister and I rushed through the fallen debris and broken furniture that blocked our way to safety. I remember having to climb over our fallen entertainment unit just to make it to the table and once we were there, we held on for dear life. The initial quake lasted only 20 seconds, but the aftershocks were equally as intense. In essence, the shaking never ceased. The quakes went on for minutes, then days, then weeks, and yes, even months.
My single mother, her elderly mother my sister and I lived outside of our home in my brothers van eating hotdogs and camping for a good solid month. The aftershocks were so intense that we couldn’t even enter into our home. During this time my mother and my brother had a real estate business and their office literally collapsed. My mother’s desk was completely covered in heavy debris. Something that I believe caused earthquake PTSD in her… but that’s a story for another day…
So when I say that earthquakes wake people up, I literally mean earthquakes WAKE. PEOPLE. UP.
As a kid I recall thinking, “I just want this shaking to stop!” I remember feeling completely unstable and completely unsafe. The feeling of instability and uncertainty was, and dare I say, still is haunting. Going through all of that as a child I felt the only place that was safe was to be somewhere in the sky. In essence, I wanted a Jetson house. As a Californian, my story with Earthquakes won’t end. Nevertheless, the Lord will continue to use them to wreck my heart and mind… in a great, albeit it, intense way.
This past month’s earthquakes were tiny reminders that “nothing is stable!” As I had to get my now, elderly (young elderly, but elderly nonetheless) mother and my disabled older sister under our same kitchen table I almost broke down over the sorrow of watching them both get on the floor. The unsteady floor that refused to stop shaking. We did just what we did when I was a kid. We sat there, three grown daughters of the Lord and just held on and prayed. It was hurting my heart that my mom and sister were on the floor, but it was also creeping up on me that I was FEARFUL of the fact that nothing is stable. We control NOTHING.
And THAT is when the Lord had my undivided attention.
So up until the earthquakes, I’d been acting a fool. Let me simplify that veiled confession. I’d been disobedient to the Lord with my affections. My devotion was on myself. What I wanted, when I wanted it, how I wanted it. With everything. With all my sins of choice. Ready for some honesty? Pleasure seeking sins: food, escaping into TV, worry and massive amounts of fear. I had been a fear machine. That was the most surprising thing. I was fearful of all things. It was any twinge of body pain, any change in my life, I was a mess.
Then the Lord shook me awake and here I am. AWAKE! (More on this later)
Friends, the world is unpredictable. Life and finances, relationships and health. We are promised nothing. There is no guarantee that you will make it to 100, to next year, next month, tomorrow or even tonight. Nothing IS stable…
But the love of Christ.
- Who else takes all your secret filth and redeems it to be white as snow (Isaiah 1:18)?
- Who else redeems your tragedies and your pain and restores to you hope and healing (Jeremiah 30:17, Joel 2:25-32)?
- Who else has compassion on you when you were at your darkest (Romans 5:8)?
- Who else is trustworthy to fulfill all He’s promised (Joshua 21:45)?
- Who else will go before you and fight for you (Exodus14:14)?
- Who else promises to set you free (John 8:36)?
- Who else restores all things (Acts 3:19-21, Revelation 21:5)?
- Who else cannot lie to you (Hebrews 6:18)?
- Who else promises to finish the work they’ve begun in/with you (Philippians 1:6)?
It’s simple. NO ONE.
No one has ever and will ever do all of this for you. So yeah, the earth is shaking, rolling, and groaning. Yeah life is crazy and unpredictable and often times against us. Nothing. Is. Stable.
Let these quakes shake you awake beloved.
He is coming soon.
Will you be found awake??