Southern California was hit with a seismic one-two combo, first on the 4th of July, and then a larger one the day after.
I live 80 miles south of Ridgecrest, the epicenter. Let me tell you, we were rockin’ and rollin’ at my house! Although we incurred minimal damage of a few broken figurines, our nerves were like frayed electrical cords. After the 7.1 quake hit Friday night, there were a few significant aftershocks that sent us ducking and covering immediately. When I closed my eyes to sleep that night, it seemed as though my bed was swaying like a boat in the ocean. But it was only my mind playing tricks on me.
Southern California is still experiencing multiple aftershocks daily. According to seismologists, we will likely have aftershocks for a long time to come.
But if you look closely with spiritual eyes, we see God’s hand in the midst of the worst of circumstances throughout history.
As I watched the news, praying for those hit much harder than us, I noticed telltale signs of God’s divine presence and the lessons He is hoping to teach us.
Spiritual Lessons Earthquakes Teach Us
Things of true importance become immediately clearer.
A young mother from Ridgecrest said her first reaction during the earthquake was to pick up her infant, fall to the ground, and shield him with her body.
We have read tragic stories of people who risked their lives gathering earthly possessions during a natural disaster only to lose their own life.
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:26
A disaster can serve as a barometer of what we truly hold dear.
“And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Luke 12:33-34
Things that aren’t secure can shatter in an instant.
The items that were damaged in my home during the earthquake were ones that weren’t secure. Figurines on a shelf rocked back and forth until they fell to the ground and broke.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come, and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
Where do you place your security?
We Need Each Other.
Emergency first responders were a welcome sight to those who were injured or experienced damage to their property. Strangers reached out to help a frantic woman find her dog. It didn’t matter the color of her skin or who she voted for. She was another human being in need.
Hard times often reveal our innate need for community.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
We are Not in Control.
Perhaps one of the deepest needs people have is a sense of safety, stability, and control. When disaster strikes, lack of control can lead to fear and chaos. And disasters don’t p