Wednesday, August 24, 2011

when the earth quakes

Yesterday around 2 pm we, here in Virginia, had an earthquake. An earthquake that measured 5.9. This was my third earthquake experience. The first two were so small that it only felt like a big truck driving by the house. But yesterday, as I sat in the chair tying my shoes and as the girls gathered some books before we headed out the door, the house began to shake. At first I thought again that it was a big truck driving down our street, but as the shaking intensified I was frozen. Not really in fear, but in amazement. Is this really happening? Is it going to get worse? The girls were terrified. Not just from the odd sensation of our immovable house moving right under our feet but also from the noise. Hearing the sound of our house shaking (an unforgettable and indescribable sound), hearing the dishes rattle, seeing the lamp fall off the table, watching the shoes fall from the shelf by the door, seeing the chandelier sway...all within a few seconds. Scared...yes they were. I must say it did make me a little tense but God gave me grace to remain calm. Voice soft and steady I told them to leave what they had so we could go outside until it was over. The quaking sensation was considerably less in the warm grass but as I put my hand on the bricks of my house I could still feel it moving. Then it was over. Just like that. No more shaking, no more sounds, just the quiet stillness that we had forever taken for granted. Then the phone rang...people checking in on us...then I made calls checking in on others. Thankfully everyone was safe...just a little shaken. (sorry for the pun, it was irresistible)
As the conversations throughout the remainder of the day were centered around the earthquake I reminded my girls that yes, God is in control. I explained how earthquakes happen so they would understand what makes the earth shake all the way from Canada to Georgia. (I feel a homeschool science lesson coming on) God is powerful and mighty and sovereign. Then I remembered the story from Acts 16 when Paul and Silas were imprisoned yet they were singing hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners were listening to them praise God even though sharing about Him is what landed them in jail. Then an earthquake happened...well here, read the passage from Acts 16....
Paul and Silas Imprisoned
22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their [j]robes off them and proceeded to order [k]them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 [l]and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the [m]stocks.
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
The Jailer Converted
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of [n]the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set [o]food before them, and rejoiced [p]greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.

It's amazing how God used that earthquake. I wonder how it felt to them, how it sounded. What they thought. After looking up that passage I looked for other occasions when, in the Bible, other earthquakes happened. Matthew 27:50-54...When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom and the earth shook and rocks split. Matthew 28:1-7 When Jesus rose from the dead three days later an earthquake happened and an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, rolled away the stone from the tomb.
So, as I think again about the earthquake I realize just how small I am. How, no matter how much I try to have control over my life, my circumstances, our daily lives, I really have no control at all. I am reminded that I was created to glorify God, to obey God, and to do what He commands. Not out of fear, but out of love and respect and awe. He is an awesome God, powerful and sovereign, full of grace and mercy.
Safely His, xoANG


Zoƫ said...

So glad that you and all of yours are OK. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

Amen to your post. HE is in control. g.s.