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Finding Refuge in the Earthquake

Written by: Janise Anderson

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God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

-- Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)


Have you ever been through an earthquake? As a kid, I grew up in Lima, Peru and went through countless tremors and earthquakes. Many times, my mom would wake me up in the middle of the night because the house was shaking.


My sisters, parents, and I would run down the stairs. We would crowd together under our staircase and brace ourselves against the walls. Under our feet, the ground would tremble violently. Dogs would bark in the distance as car alarms went off.


To plan ahead for potential earthquakes, my mom set up an “emergency” box under the stairs. But we had no way of knowing when an earthquake would come or how bad it would be.


Earthquakes come with no warning. When the ground starts shaking, you have to get to a safe place and wait it out. You can’t do much else.


Several “earthquakes” hit during the early months of 2020. We were all affected by unexpected trials and difficulties. Maybe even now you are feeling the “aftershocks” of an earthquake. We were not prepared for the way COVID-19 would affect our daily lives.


A few months after the world seemed to shut down for COVID-19, a different earthquake hit my family. My mom, who had fought through cancer last year and had been told she was cancer free, found out that her cancer had returned.


The doctors gave her six months to live.


When she told us, I felt, for a moment, how I did when I was little and the ground and walls would start shaking.


As I’m writing this, about two months have passed since that conversation. I’m still not sure exactly what will happen during the next few months. But I am going to run to a safe place and wait out the earthquake.


Psalm 46 starts out with this beautiful promise: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (NKJV).


God is my “safe place.” He is my refuge and my strength. No matter what happens during the next few months of 2020, I know that He will keep me safe through the earthquakes of life.

Verse 5 of Psalm 46 says, “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn” (NKJV).


God is with me. He is with you too. I don’t know what you are going through or what earthquakes you’ve faced already this year. But I do know that God loves you and that He is ready and willing to be a refuge and a strength for you.


I’ll leave you with my favorite verse, Psalm 46:10, which says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (NKJV).


Even as the ground trembles under you and the walls shake around you, be still in God. Remember who He is and what He has done for you. Because of Him, we can remain unmoved as the world falls apart around us.



Reflection

1. What “earthquakes” have you faced this year?

2. How can you choose today to claim the truths found in Psalm 46?


Prayer

Jesus, help us to cling to You even as we face the difficulties of this year. Help us to be still and remember who You are and what You’ve done for us. Thank You for being a safe place and a refuge in our time of need. We love You and we need You every day. Thank You for loving us.



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