What a week we’re having here. A few days ago, I had just gotten into my car to go pick up the girls from school when the car started mildly shaking. What the heck is going on with this car now? The shaking seemed to stop, but then the car started rocking side to side pretty good for what seemed like a fairly long time.
What is going on? Did a bomb drop or something explode somewhere? I didn’t hear anything though. Is the gas line about to rupture? Oooh wait, this must be an earthquake. An earthquake? Whoa, cool. I wonder if I should get out of the car? I probably should, but it’s shaking too much. Why am I pushing on the brake? That’s not going to stop the car from shaking, silly.
The teens a few doors down ran out of their house and yelled to me, “Do you feel that?” No, I don’t feel a thing. OF COURSE I FEEL THAT! THE EARTH IS SHAKING! I just nodded my head and said yeah. I wonder how long this is going to last because I really need to leave now to pick up the girls from school. Huh? My brain amuses me.
I was kind of impressed that it was a 5.9 earthquake. Now, we await the arrival of Hurricane Irene. Yes, what a week we’re having.
But isn’t this how life goes? You’re going about your business without a second thought, and then out of nowhere, SLAM! the world starts shaking—cancer, fatal car accident, lost job, illness, infidelity… . Then you see a massive storm coming your direction and you wonder if you should hunker down where you are or make a run for it. What the hell is going on here? Make it stop!
Events of the past few years make me wonder if we’re living in some sort of spiritual Ring of Fire. We go through things that rock our foundations. We endure scary storms and wonder if the rain and wind will ever stop. We persevere and come out changed somehow—whether for good or bad, but rarely indifferent.
After the quake the other day, nobody I talked with acted like nothing had happened. It changed the way we look at the area in which we live. I didn’t know that could happen here was what I heard most frequently. Now we know. I’m hoping it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but if there’s a next time, I hope to recognize what it is more quickly.
I also was fascinated to find out that when the earthquake hit the other day, there just happened to be a mom in my kids’ school who had moved here from California. She was in a classroom and saw the teacher freeze up, unsure of what was happening or what to do, so the mom stepped in. She knew what it was and ran down the hall yelling into the classrooms for everyone to get under their desks. How awesome is that? There was someone there who knew what was going on and how to handle the situation.
Maybe one day we can be the people who, after we have endured our quakes and come out of hiding from our storms, turn around and help others who are facing their never-before-faced situation. Don’t let your sufferings go to waste. Turn around and help someone who has no idea what is going on or what to do — it somehow helps to soften the blow that you endured.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 (NLT)