May 18, 2012

Shaken to the Core

This devotion is running today on Internet Cafe Devotions

On January 12, 2010 the foundations of the earth shook as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti.

The already-poorest-country in the Western hemisphere suffered unthinkable destruction. News reports confirmed the ruin, chaos, grief, tragedy. By all accounts Haiti was devastated. Period.

Did you know earthquakes foreshadowed major plot shifts in the Bible?
  • Before Moses received the Ten Commandments, “the mountain trembled violently.”
  • When Jesus was crucified and took his last breath, “the earth shook.” 
  • When the angel rolled the stone away from the tomb, “there was a violent earthquake.” 
  • When Paul and Silas sang hymns in prison, “there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.” 

I imagine the witnesses focused on the chaos, shock and ruin of the earthquakes. But knowing what came next, I hear God saying, “Don’t focus on the shaking earth and get stuck there! Look at me. Watch what I’m going to do!” I’m giving you The Law. I’m overcoming death. I’m giving you eternal life. I’m building my church.

The earthquakes weren’t the end of the story; they were the beginning. It’s been said, “Don’t put a period where God intends a comma.”

In the two years since the earthquake in Haiti, futility, hopelessness and despair abound. Each news report draws circles around the period at the end of the story called Haiti.

But God.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." (Psalm 46:1-3) 

The earthquake drew me to Haiti to work with the Foundation for Peace. Relief has turned into rebuilding and ongoing care.

During each visit to Haiti I see momentum building and the story growing. I hear God saying, “Don’t focus on the shaken earth and get stuck there! Look at me. Watch what I’m doing!”  

Newly rebuilt boats ready for fishing.
Recently I received an update on the work FFP had been doing since my team’s departure in March. They:
  • Distributed shoes to children and Bibles to adults in a poor village, and they helped rebuild the village’s three fishing boats. 
  • Finished building a house for a woman and her children who’d been living under sheets. 
  • Held a worship service where a voodoo priest and his family gave their lives to Jesus. (It took an hour to burn all of his voodoo trinkets.) 
  • Continued to build the vocational school started last year—the only school of its kind in the region. 

God is telling a story of glory in Haiti.

In our own lives earthquakes will happen. Natural disasters. Death. Divorce. Cancer. Financial woes. Heartbreak. Our foundations will be shaken to their core.

But God says, “Be still…” Relax. Pause. Add a comma. “…and know…” Experience for yourself. Take my truth into your soul. Turn toward me. “…that I am God.” Your refuge and strength. Your ever-present help in trouble. Your fortress and deliverer.

Has your foundation been shaken? Is God calling you to "Be still, and know…?" Where is He writing a story of glory in your life?

If you'd like to learn more about Foundation for Peace and the work they do, and even join an upcoming trip, click here.


Sue J. said...

As great as it is to read about the reconstruction efforts, I'm loving the fact that people are turning to Christ, and supporting and encouraging one another in their efforts to rebuild with Him as their foundation. Watch and see what He will do, indeed! Thanks to you, your team and the teams and leaders before you who are helping the folks in Haiti see this bigger, better picture!

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, God is writing a story of glory in the life of our family, but so much of it has yet to unfold. Pressing on, trusting, hoping. Our God is faithful. The glory is on the way!

Sassy Granny ... said...

What fabulous, timeless wisdom! All over the globe we can hear God calling - often louder-and-louder to a world He longs to love, and save. Oh that the shaking would lead us to love Him more; to lash ourselves to His saving arm to ride out the shaking with hope & courage & confidence.