In the May 5, 1906 issue of Colliers Weekly, Jack London wrote the following: “San Francisco is gone! Nothing remains of it but memories. On Wednesday morning at a quarter past five came the earthquake. A minute later the flames were leaping upward. There was no organization, no communication. The streets were humped into ridges and depressions and piled with debris of fallen walls. All the shrewd contrivances and safeguards of man had been thrown out of gear by thirty seconds’ twitching of the earth’s crust.”
Now, more than a century later, the focus of the world is on Haiti, due to another twitching of the earth’s crust causing almost unimaginable destruction and making many wonder when and where the next quake will strike. Experts warn us that there are between 1,500 and 10,000 tremors a day on this fidgety planet, reminding us of the words of our Lord for our time: “There will be earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7).
The Bible compares our shaky planet to a woman having labor pains and about to give birth. During the hours of travail, as birth approaches, her pains increase in frequency and severity. In context, this comparison has to do with time’s steady march in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, calling for the future to hold a whole lot of shaking to be going on.
Life holds many experiences that have the power to shake us up. Most of us go through things we didn’t think we would and some of us experience things we didn’t think we could..
Personal earthquakes can be even more frightening than those that cause streets to buckle and buildings to fall. Fiery trials, as the apostles called them, burn as deeply and
painfully as the fires we see in television news reports of earthquake damage in Haiti. To prepare us for these individual twitching times, we’ve been given the forty sixth Psalm which begins with the following faith builder for tough times:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed , and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2).
The key to discovering peace for our shaking times is found in eight words appearing near the end of this set of fear fighting verses in the earthquake Psalm: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), a promise for peace in times of peril.
No God, no peace.
Know God, know peace.
Those who hide in God, finding their strength in Him through faith, are equipped to face every storm and shaking season life brings their way.
Some have wondered how some Haitians could be peaceful in a time of such peril. The answer is often found in their solid relationship with their Lord, who said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”