Friday night (well, early Saturday morning!) I woke up to the feeling of my bed shaking. It was a pretty strong tremor, and seemed to last a long time (although it was probably less than 10 seconds). After it stopped, Lisa (Doña Gloria’s dog) started barking. In the distance I could hear the other dogs in the neighborhood howling their protest at the movement, too.
Prior to 2011, I can recall feeling one tremor in my entire life. It was when I was in college, and several of us were up in Toronto for American Thanksgiving. We were at my friend Elizabeth’s house, sitting around the dining room table. I remember we thought someone was shaking the table, or that there was a train somewhere. No, it was, in fact, a very minor earthquake.
In the past two years, I’ve felt lots (10+!) of tremors. In both Guatemala and here in the DR, I’ve woken up several times to my bed swaying. I’ve sat at my table and felt everything moving, too. While each one has been scary, causing things to rattle, thankfully, none have caused anything to fall over or off a shelf.
This physical shaking is a good reflection of what’s been going on in the rest of my life, too. My life right now is being shaken up, again. Personally, professionally, spiritually… It seems every area of my life is on the move. Again.
I promise, I'll write more about it all later. Please be assured, it is good stuff - just a lot of good stuff!
Psalm 46 talks about the earth giving way, mountains being moved into the sea, waters roaring and foaming. God is shown at work, His voice alone causing the raging nations to cease, the earth to melt away. God causes desolation, breaking and shattering bows, burning war chariots.
Then, suddenly, in the middle of all the crashing, David throws in verse 10 – Be still, and know that I am God. It almost seems out of place in the midst of this violent imagery.
Why should we be still? Verse 10 goes on, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth!” What a promise! What assurance! God will be exalted. It’s not that maybe it will happen, perhaps, fingers-crossed, please, please, make it so. Instead, we can declare it along with our Father.
But, like the tremors I’ve felt, it can still be scary. While we like to think of God working in loving, quiet, gentle methods, that’s not the only way. Sin and evil need to be cut out, burned up, eradicated. In the world, in my life, as well. That sometimes hurts. It sometimes is bewildering, not seeming to make any sense.
That’s where faith comes in. Faith that says, while I cannot see it all, I will trust the One who can. That all things are working together for our good.
I can rest, be still, because God is God, and He is at work. It’s easy to be tempted to turn that into a wimpy, resigned way of living. I’m just a little cork, bobbing along, being buffeted by the waves. I have no control, so why bother trying?
That’s not it at all. Instead, being still takes strength and courage. Standing firm in the middle of the shaking and storms is a choice. Trusting God when everything (and everyone) around you shouts “Run and hide, there’s no hope!”, is not easy. But, that is what the world needs to witness. Christ-followers who hold firm to faith when we cannot see, cannot understand.
So, today, as we step back out into the storm, I pray we will stand firm, be still, and in this way, proclaim that God is God. That we will join in exalting Him among the nations. God is with us. We truly have nothing to fear.