This week, our part of the world experienced a 5.5 earthquake. Our ground rocked and rolled for seconds. Our family only suffered one casualty in that one of the first gifts of art John brought home to me soon after our arrival in South Africa in 2006, fell to the concrete floor and split in two. Thankfully, the split was clean and John was able to repair it. After the glue sets and dries, we’ll be able to hang it back up on the wall. Unless you inspect it closely, you will not be able to see the earthquake inflicted wound.
You really won’t be able to tell that anything of consequence happened to it or to us.
I haven’t blogged much lately. My time has been focused upon resettling in our new home, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and being wife to John and mom to Micah, Caleb, and Jake. We’ve been shaken up by this move. And though, you won’t see much after affect on the outside, we’re still feeling the impact of the changes and adjusting to them.
I shared last night at our team prayer gathering that I felt out of rhythm. At our other house, I had a routine I liked. I was in a good groove. I felt like I was accomplishing things and felt like I was contributing to something. Since moving, I haven’t had any type of resemblance to that rhythm. I’m the same person, but I’m not in the same place. Everything feels the same, but everything feels different.
And then, when I have a moment to spare, I read short notes on Facebook, short blurbs on Twitter, or news stories on-line. And then, I have no words at all. The world doesn’t feel the same at all.
The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa, the attacks against Christians in Iraq, the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Ukraine crisis, instability in Afghanistan, child-trafickking, and a young mother’s suicide in Oregon, have all brought me to tears and to a place of horrified silence. The world is literally being shaken to its core by one unspeakable tragedy after another. And unlike my wooden African art piece, nothing appears to be able to be fixed or able to provide a hint of resolution….yet.
In answer to my helpless thoughts and inconsequential ramblings, my God gave Jake, Caleb and me some words to read today at our Happy Blue School. We began a new Bible study, God, What’s Your Name, by Kay Arthur. The boys and I were asked to decode a group of symbols, which ultimately revealed these words:
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10 NIV
In light of our recent earthquake and these nightmarish, world catastrophes and struggles of incomprehensible anguish, I am reminded that my God’s All-Sufficiency stands forth; large, strong and fortified.
I need to know that.
I can’t make sense of the cruelty of man.
Today, my God asked me to remember the Power of His name, the Strength of His character, the Peace of His Presence and the Promises of His Covenant. He stands. He protects. He shields. He guides. He encourages. And He blesses.
He has made Himself known as God Almighty. He is Lord over heaven and earth.
My security and my hope are in Him.
And what of the hundreds, and perhaps thousands that are experiencing persecution because of His Name?
What of the hundreds, and perhaps thousands that are suffering from an incurable disease?
What of the hundreds, and perhaps thousands that are caught in the deadly crossfire between nations?
What of the hundreds, and perhaps thousands that are facing a dangerous, military invasion?
What of the hundreds, and perhaps thousands that are struggling to survive in a war-ravaged land?
What of the hundreds, and perhaps thousands that are being kidnapped and sold on child-trafficking networks?
What of the hundreds, and perhaps thousands who continue to grieve those that have perished and witnessed the horrors of these tragedies and more?
And what of an Oregon family that has been pierced through their hearts by a young mother’s suicide?
Can they, can we all, count upon the name of the Lord, the Strong Tower to comfort us, to strengthen us, to save us?
Will we find the Name of the Lord to be an impenetrable, impregnable, and sure tower which stands against these horrors and stands for us?
The answer lies in these words: The righteous run to it and are safe.
Who are the righteous? Those that, by faith and by prayer, choose to devote themselves to their God and to trust in His care; regardless of what happens on earth.
For our security is not found here. It never will be.
Our comfort, peace, and security are in our God. And though people are dying, will die, and, yes, we shall too, this not the end-game. It is only the beginning for what lies ahead in eternity. Our comfort, rest, security, and safety are found in Him and in the promises fulfilled in an eternal life with Him.
This does not mean that we stop praying, stop advocating, or stop seeking resolution to the world’s problems of conflict, disease, finite resources, corruption, and more. If anything, we pray more. We advocate more. We seek our God’s help more. We turn to our God and depend upon His Name that will always defend…even in ways we cannot always see.
The world is shaking.
Our God is not.
When we feel vulnerable, He is invulnerable.
When we feel attacked, He is impregnable.
When we feel violated, He is inviolable.
When we feel insecure, He is secure.
When we feel defeated, He will not be overcome.
When we feel shaken, He is unshakeable.
When we feel conquered, He is unconquerable.
When we feel thwarted, He is unstoppable.
When we feel in danger, He is our security. We may run to him and be safe. In the Presence of God, we experience His invincible love and care for us; always.
So, can we count on the Name of the Lord?
My answer is yes.
I may feel insufficient and unsure as I maneuver the earth’s shaky ground, but I can rely on the All-Sufficiency of my God for today’s struggles and tomorrow’s challenges. His grace is near. May we all depend upon Him; now more than ever.
Photo by Apollo and Aradia of Flickr