How the Shaking Stops
This week my world shook… literally! I was seated in a comfortable wing-back chair in one of our counseling rooms, chatting with a lovely young woman when the wings behind my head started moving.
At first I thought it was just me that was shaking. Perhaps I was being hit with some kind of sickness that was causing extreme dizziness. Then I heard the closet doors rattling behind me. I looked at my friend and said, “Are you feeling that?” When she nodded, I figured immediately that we were experiencing an earthquake.
I suggested that we should leave the room. We met our secretary in the hallway, who had also felt the rumbling and concluded that perhaps she should leave the building. Of course, by the time the three of us exited, the shaking was long over.
At the risk of being laughed at by my west-coast relatives and friends who have endured much more frequent and violent seismic jiggles, I must admit that my earthquake (regardless of how puny it seems by their high standards) was a learning experience. As the earth shook, my natural desires were to quickly find some location of safety and stability, to walk through the experience with a companion or companions, and to simply make the upheaval stop.
How very much like the “tremors” in my life. Seems like I can be sailing along just fine, pretty much problem-free. Then suddenly I get hit with one crisis or challenge after another that really “shake me up.” How I long at those times to just make the shaking stop.
Each spring I look forward to summer, envisioning an idyllic time of long strolls in a park, sipping lemonade on our porch on a lazy blue sky afternoon, and indulging in lots of fun and games with our family. You’d think that I would have learned by now, that it never quite works out that way. This past summer was no exception. Although we had many delightful visits with friends and family, there were plenty of challenges too… loved ones facing medical challenges and surgeries, disappointments, questions and concerns about the future, clients seeking my help to get through their own terribly painful crises, days of feeling mentally and physically exhausted. I felt like I was in one of those old vaudeville juggling acts. I was trying to keep all the plates spinning, but more plates kept getting added. It left me feeling like my world was reeling. I felt alone. I felt tense. I just wanted life’s craziness to stop.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. (Psalm 18:2)
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
(Psalm 62:1 & 2)
Ahhhh yes! In the midst of the frenzy, a small Voice reminds me… that I am not alone… that there is a place of safety and rest… that I can stop shaking and be still once again!
And so I pray something like, “Lord, I don’t know how You’re going to take care of these problems and I don’t know when, but I have to believe You’re big enough to solve every one. I believe You’re already working on each solution and so I can relax and rest and stop trembling with anxiety. You’re going to see me through! Thank You Lord!”
On life’s Richter scale, I don’t know the magnitude of “shock wave” I might be hit with next. It might be a big loss, a small worry, a serious sickness, a big problem… why it might even be another earthquake! I might very well feel that unsettling shaking once again. But with my Friend, my Rock, my Shelter… my Savior… I know I’ll be okay!