It was a normal Wednesday afternoon. I was sitting on the couch watching TV and checking my facebook when all of a sudden, an extremely strange sensation came over me. It was subtle yet undeniable; my body was gently shaking… but I was very much sitting still. Our human nature is to be afraid of the unknown and this was definitely true for me that day. Nothing comparable had ever happened to me and quite frankly, I was terrified. My mind began to race; was I having some type of mild seizure? Was I losing my mind? (And I mean that relatively literally); I was truly scared.
As it turned out, I was not having a seizure; I was experiencing my first earthquake (and hopefully my last). The fear quickly transformed into relief and shock. Fortunately, the earthquake was not severe and didn’t result in any serious injuries but there remained a distinct sense of dismay nonetheless. Earthquake? In Toronto? Things like that didn’t happen in Toronto. No, earthquakes happened in far away countries, to strangers; not to me, not in my city; my home; my refuge. But it did. And it really made me think.
Through this experience I have gained a new found, deeper compassion for the people of Haiti, Chile and all other countries that have experienced devastating earthquakes and other disasters. When I felt my body shaking, I felt an acute sense of panic even if only for a moment, and I was perfectly fine; on my comfortable, leather couch in my two story, air-conditioned house. What if my home had crumbled before my eyes, all my earthly possessions were destroyed and life as I knew it was changed forever. What then?
It was a painfully clear reminder of how fragile and temporary this life really is. I cannot tell you how thankful I am knowing that no matter what tragedy may occur on this earth, my life does not end when the world does. When I felt the sharp pang of initial panic I immediately turned to God. I prayed, “Jesus, please help me, I’m so scared”. Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation so why should I be afraid, The Lord protects me from danger- so why should I tremble?” Even in my moment of fear and uncertainty, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that God is the one constant in my life. Regardless of how drastically my circumstances may change, God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And nothing can separate me from His Love.
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). God is our ultimate Strength and Refuge, “So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” – Psalm 46:2, 7.
In light of all of the devastation that’s occurring in today’s world, take a moment to reflect on your life. What do you cling to when your earth shakes?
Clinging to God,