I live in California. Earthquakes are common talk. We wonder when “the big one” will hit. Earthquake preparedness is a must: Schools participate in earthquake drills, companies host earthquake preparedness seminars, and individuals prepare earthquake survival kits. We try to be as prepared as we can be for the inevitable. But when a 3.5-quake rattled our peaceful community, I was caught off-guard.
It happened early in the morning. I was in my bedroom making my bed, and suddenly the floor underneath my feet shifted down, like an elevator’s sudden descent. I felt the downward motion and toppled sideways as my stomach did a flip. Around me, vases and books tumbled off shelves; pictures loosed from hooks and jumped off the wall. In an attempt to find stability, I slid down the side of my bed skirt, my rear end willingly hitting the floor. Now seated with legs crossed, with both hands I grabbed the nap of the shag carpet and held on for my life until the shaking stopped.
Maybe you’ve never been in an earthquake, but we’ve all been in uncomfortable and unstable places more often than we’d like. I call these life-quakes. Ever unsure where you stand in your relationships, job, or finances? These are just a few instances of “life-quakes” that rattle our trust in God’s stability. We wonder why, if God really loves us, He let the shaking start and why He doesn’t make it stop. Circumstances make us feel like our comfortable little world is rocked, turned topsy-turvy, even dismantled. It is essential for us if we want to function in God’s victory to remember Who is our foundation.
The name of God Zur means God our Rock. God wants us to hold onto His promises and stand firm in the power of His stable presence. Our mind must be renewed. This comes by reading His word, marinating on His promises, and standing on the solid ground God provides when we own up to our authority in Christ and rise up in faith.
Wikipedia defines “rock” as: the solid mineral material forming part of the surface of the earth and other similar planets, exposed on the surface or underlying the soil or oceans. But the term “rock” is also used in similes and metaphors to refer to someone or something that is extremely strong, reliable, or hard.
Life-quakes hit when we least expect them. Since these times of being all shook up are part of life (and we know these inevitable quakes are coming), let’s make a choice now to practice a little “life-quake preparedness.” Let’s prepare for the big one and the small ones, too! Once the life-quake hits, we are able to find stable ground again. An added blessing is while we let God help us assimilate ourselves, we can also help others in the midst of their own life-quakes.
First we must implement the reaction of praising God and thanking God before He sends the solution and the shaking stops. Stability, being a firm foundation, is God’s nature, so we can expect His consistent response as Zur, God Our Rock. When we trust Him, we anticipate His best is on the way to help us find our firm footing once again. Isaiah 30:29 talks about praising and thanking the the Rock of Israel: “And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people playing pipes go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.”
Some of us might be skeptical about the time it might take. We want the shaking to stop NOW! If you have a hard time believing your firm footing will be restored and that the shaking will stop, consider Psalm 18:2, which says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Here’s one more promise to claim, especially if you feel like you are on shifting sand. “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand,” says Psalm 40:2. It’s a wonderful thing to speak out loud several times as you wait for the shaking to cease!
Heavenly Father, thank you for being Zur, God Our Rock. You love me. Thank you for helping me anticipate life-quakes; let me prepare for the inevitable, as I understand your character to help me stand firm. Thank you for your extreme strength, stable presence, and firm foundation. Help me to stay near to you, my Rock, my fortress, and my stronghold. In Jesus’ name, amen.