Quakes Renew the Planet

“Deadly and Yet Necessary, Quakes Renew the Planet”

As I read this headline in the New York Times, I couldn’t help but think of Hebrews 12:26-29: His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what is not shaken might remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

The first paragraph of the NYT article reads like this: “Scientists argue that in the very long view, the global process behind great earthquakes is quite advantageous for life on earth — especially human life.”

Earthquakes often result in death.

Earthquakes often result in destruction. 

But earthquakes also build mountainsenrich soil (to make possible the growth of coffee, tea, rubber, etc.), regulate the planet’s temperature, concentrate gold and other rare metals, and maintain the sea’s chemical balance.

Earthquakes constantly recycle the earth’s crust and thus produce a lush planet that is actually livable.

Some experts even refer to the regular quakes — hundreds a day — as the planet’s heartbeat!

When we read headlines of death and destruction in the midst of earthquakes, though, it’s hard to think of anything but the horrific tragedy that has just occurred. 

Similarly, when we find ourselves in the midst of brokenness and darkness on this earth, it’s hard to think of anything but the overwhelming nature of it all. 

Like the readers of Hebrews, who were looking at the future, realizing their faith would likely result in earthly suffering and persecution, and questioning whether they should stick with it or abandon ship, we are faced with the same decision.

When we experience the earthquakes of life, do we succumb to dwelling on the death and destruction — the brokenness and darkness — around us? 

Or do we believe in the depths of our being that we are part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken and abide in the steadfast One? 

Do we believe in our guts that while everything is shaking around us, and one day when God will shake everything once and for all, that those who are in Christ are eternally secure and immovable because of His grace and love? That He will finish the good work He began?

Don’t allow the enemy to render you ineffective because you’ve believed the lie that God’s kingdom can be shaken. 

Just as earthquakes bring renewal and life and even precious metals out of death and destruction, we possess the same promise. We’ve been promised, “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:3)

Beloved, you will not be shaken. You are being renewed. You will live. Like a piece of precious gold, you are being refined. Because a Savior was shaken on your behalf. When your life feels like it’s on shifting ground because everything is shaking around you, remember this truth: if you know Jesus Christ, you are standing on bedrock. You have a solid foundation. And He will never fail you.

May we serve Him with thankful hearts, with reverence and awe, because He is worthy of all of our praise!

Hope to see you Sunday,