By: Renee Chitty
An earthquake is a scary event to think about. It could start with a small tremor and escalate, or it could begin as an eight on the Richter scale. Earthquakes come without warning and can be extremely devastating, destructive, and frightening.
This is similar to the troubles and trials that come into our life. We are walking along in our Christian life, thinking everything is great, when we are blindsided by an “earthquake.” This earthquake shakes us up. We turn to the Lord in urgent prayer, while we are questioning God in our minds. “How could this happen? I’ve given my life to serving God and working for Him. Why did He let this happen to me? Why am I going through this? Doesn’t serving Him matter? Why go on? Why not quit?” We have to fight with our flesh when these thoughts come into our minds. We tell the Lord we are giving it to Him, all the while we are still worrying ourselves to a frazzle over the problem that we face. How do I survive this earthquake and go on with my life? What’s going to happen now?
Last year, 2012, was a year filled with earthquakes for my family. A year filled with trials. I regret to admit that my flesh won out at times, and the thoughts mentioned in the paragraph above went through my mind. One of our church members went through a hard trial and they made it through. I asked them how they made it through what seemed so devastating. They said the first thing they realized was that this was exactly what God wanted whether they liked it or not. This trial will only make you a better and stronger Christian. The second thing was that they realized what it truly meant to cast all their care upon the Lord. It was like my eyes were opened at that moment. I know I have heard sermons that have said these exact things I was just being told, but I suddenly realized what it meant. Sometimes I think we get so used to hearing preaching that we don’t take time to really listen and apply it to our lives.
1. God knows what is happening in your life.
I realized God knew exactly what was happening in my life. Matthew 6:26 says, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” God takes care of the birds and makes sure they have food. If He takes such good care of the birds, then I know I can trust Him to take care of me, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes we think God sits in Heaven and is surprised or shocked when something bad happens. He isn’t! He had to let the “earthquake” happen in our life. He knew it was going to happen, so He must have a reason for it. The majority of the time we don’t know the reason, but He has one. I have had two miscarriages, at the time I didn’t understand why it happened. I have been able to talk to several people who had miscarriages and encourage them because of what I went through. I look back now and can say, “All right Lord, I think I know why you let that happen.” Remember, He sees the big picture and has a plan.
2. God wants you to completely trust Him.
I also realized that I hadn’t completely given everything over to Him. I prayed and said I had, but deep down I was still holding on to everything and was trying to fix it myself. I hit my knees and completely gave it to Him. The peace that God gave me was indescribable!!! I was at complete peace and knew He would take care of me, my family and everything else. It was as if a peaceful calm came over me. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” So many times I believe we read this verse, but we don’t really and truly cast all our care upon Him. It is hard to completely give everything to God and trust Him to take care of it. There is that part of our flesh that still holds on and worries and tries to take care of everything on our own because we think we can somehow handle everything. Get alone with God and talk to Him and surrender everything.
3. God wants to mold us.
We don’t always know what God’s plan is for our lives. We don’t see the big picture. He sees everything. He is the potter, and it is His job to mold us and make us into the beautiful creation that He has in mind. He knows what we need in our lives. We may not always understand why, or like the situation we are going through to become what He wants. God only wants us to completely trust in Him and depend on Him, not only in the good times, but the bad times as well. 1 Peter 5:10, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” Trials are to strengthen us, make us better Christians, and transform us to the Potter‘s design. This molding process can be very painful at times, but a beautiful creation can come from all the pain if we bend to the Potter’s design and plan for us.
4. God wants to help you.
Psalm 94:17 says, “Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.”
Psalm 94:18 says, “When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.”
Lastly, I realized God wants to help me. He wants me to depend completely on Him for everything no matter how big or small. Too often as humans we think we can handle everything on our own. We go through our daily routines not thinking about the Lord or asking Him for advice or help on even the smallest decision or problem we have. He sends those “earthquakes” to shake us up so we have no other choice but to run to Him. He can help us through every problem if we will just turn to Him and completely give ourselves to Him.
So, there has been an “earthquake?” What now? How do I pick up the pieces?
The destruction from an earthquake can be minor to completely devastating. God wants to help us clean up the aftermath as well. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” After an earthquake we may look around and think this is so overwhelming that we ask, “How do we put everything back together?” God wants to put our lives back together. He wants us to depend on Him. It is so easy to focus on the aftermath and the destruction that has happened, and it’s so easy to become defeated and feel that all is hopeless and lost. We can become so wrapped up in self-pity that we fail to focus on the blessings God has waiting for us on the other side, and the victory He will give. I decided He knows best. He wanted this for me. I don’t know why it happened, but I am going to trust Him through everything. God’s blessings in my life are too many to count. I wouldn’t want to imagine what life would be like without Him. Stay in God’s Word and claim His promises to help you through. Pray like you have never prayed before. Stay in church. Get godly counsel from your pastor. Too many times people leave the very things that can help them the most during troubles when it’s those things we need the most. Keep serving Him no matter what. He will give you the victory!
Assistant Pastor’s Wife
Open Bible Baptist Church