Thursday, August 25, 2011

Earthquake - Lesson on Control

by Donna L. Watkins

We had some "excitement" this week with a 5.8 earthquake. The worst eqrthquake recorded for Virginia was one that rated 5.9 in 1897. We had finished eating lunch on the screened porch when it began the rumbling noise, then the ceiling fan rocked wildly and we were both on our feet shouting JESUS and praying as loud as we could. You could've heard Randal a block away if you know his voice at all.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Horace's Duskywing Butterfly
(Erynnis horatius) - Murrells Inlet, SC
I pictured the wings of God's angels surrounding us. Obviously there was nothing we could do to control the situation. says, "Angels are very active in the Bible and are used by God as messengers, warriors, and servants. The word "angel" comes from the Greek word "angelos" which means messenger. Angels are spiritual beings without bodies of flesh and bones, though they apparently have the ability to appear in human form (Gen. 19:1-22). 

Angels had many functions. They praised God (Isaiah 6:3), served as messengers to the world (Luke 1:11-20, 26-38;Luke 2:9-14), watched over God's people (Psalm 91:11-12), and were sometimes used as instruments of God's judgment (Matt. 13:49-50)."

It went for about 30 seconds (felt like many minutes) and we had a lot of aftershocks, even into the night while we were sleeping, that provoked me instantly to shout the name of Jesus again. It's not something you can imagine, but I'm thankful it was short with no real damage noticeable at the time.

Some plates fell out of the cabinet onto the kitchen counter and splattered about, and things on the wall were askew, but all was well and there was no known damage to the house at the time. At least not until yesterday when Randal decided to walk around the house and check the foundation walls.  There were about 10 cracks in the stucco.  Still not sure whether or not the actual concrete blocks of the foundation are cracked or not.  Saving that discovery for later today.

Makes me think of the firm foundation that Jesus offers us as our Lord and Savior.  On His work of The Cross we have assurance of eternal life along with peace and joy during our stay on earth no matter what the circumstances.  His grace truly is sufficient if we wrap ourselves in it.

Our cat, Squeek, knew to run to her storm cubby while we were shouting to God. After it stopped I said to Randal, " Ya know, here we are standing under a screened porch roof that was creaking and crackling when the deck was only 5 steps from us. We should've grabbed Squeek and got outside."

Normally I do pretty well with emergency situations.  My brain still functions to know what to do, but for whatever reason, neither of us were thinking very clearly .... or were we?

Maybe calling on God was what we were supposed to concentrate on.  I'm finding more and more that our initial attempts to save ourselves are rather small compared to the power that is at our disposal in Christ.  We have to stay connected to that power daily and not expect God to fulfill His promises if we haven't fulfilled our part.

"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."  (Psalm 50:14-15)

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly
Phinizy Swamp Nature Park - Augusta, GA
I find an incredible wonder about such circumstances.  The hows and whys as we pass through the "troubles" of our lives.  How much peace do we have to draw on so that we can rest in Him knowing that all things are good no matter how they look.

It was amazing how the wildlife "carries on" with it all. The hummingbirds kept fussing over the feeder like nothing was happening. Reminds me of how we miss the critical things in life fussing over the little details that we want to control. We use up more energy defending ourselves than we can take in from our supply ... much like the head hummingbird that considers the feeder his alone.

"All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

One nice thing that came out of it was getting to hear from friends and family across the country. I have a sister in Florida who called and the same day a hurricane was threatening to come ashore in that state, so I asked if she was in a danger zone. She informed me she wasn't but that she looks at things like that as something she can't control, so she figures whatever is going to happen is going to happen, so why worry over it all. Prepare and know what to do to save your life and the lives of others and then let it go.

That expressed my views nicely and encouraged me greatly, since sometimes even voicing those kinds of views makes some people angry. I guess it all depends on how much power we believe we have within our own flesh. There's such a fine line between confidence and being dead to the flesh.

Do we spend too much time trying to control things that, in reality, we know 100% cannot be controlled by us. What a waste of life, eh? I hope I don't need many more lessons in that classroom to be convinced enough to be able to live that out 100% of the time. John 6:63 reminds us that "... the flesh profits nothing." Sure puts a damper and a fly in the ointment of pride and life in the flesh. But that's a whole other topic ....

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