As a native of Southern California, I've been through my share of earthquakes. The largest was the 1971 Sylmar quake when I was seven years old. At the time, my family lived above the mortuary near Hollywood and Vine, so we were fairly close to the epicenter.
I woke that morning, not because of the quake, but because my mother had grabbed me out of my bed and thrown me into hers. I remember being disoriented, unable to understand why the bed was jerking around or where the roaring noise was coming from. The quake, which started at 6:02 AM and measured 6.5 on the Richter scale, lasted one minute. When it was over, it left 14 people dead and millions of dollars worth of damage.
We lived in a city that was built on fault lines. Everybody knew it was only a matter of time before the pressure got so great that the ground had to shake. And when it did, we cleaned up the mess. And what a mess.
It's hard enough to pick up the physical pieces of a geographical earthquake. But what happens when you go through an emotional shaking? What happens when the pressure gets so great that your personal fault lines just can't take it anymore?
In her book, Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out, Joanna Weaver talks about our fault lines. Just like geographical fault lines are hidden under the earth, so our personal fault lines usually stay buried until something triggers some spiritual seismic activity within us. When that happens, the aftermath can leave not only us, but those around us, in shambles.
This piece of the book spoke to me in a personal way. Not just because of my history with the physical shake, rattle and roll... but because I've experienced that devastating shaking at the core of my spirit. I've lashed out at the people I love, not because of something that was their fault, but because I was in pain and they were available. The Lord dealt with me on that some time ago, but to read about it in a book was pretty amazing. To be able to put a label on what had gone on inside me was a pretty incredible "AH HA!" experience.
It all comes down to this. The pain and injustice of life, our wrongdoing or the wrongdoing of others, may twist and distort us, creating fault lines and weak areas. But it's our response to these issues that makes the real difference. It's what we do--and what we let God do.
Having a Mary Spirit, page 68
Remember, friends, no one can make you do anything. The devil can't make you do anything. No matter how bad things are, you control your reaction. We all have pain and hurt lying under the surface of our skins, making us want to react in certain ways. But unlike the earth we live on, we can control our fault lines.
Be blessed, my friends! I leave you with Psalm 62:5-7
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
To enter today's giveaway...
Because we're talking about fault lines, I'm giving away a book about two sisters with major fault lines of their own: The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin. If you’d like to be entered to win a copy, just leave a comment on this blog. Please leave an email address so we can contact you if you're the winner (include spaces or brackets around the "@" sign so Net spiders, etc, can't phish your address). We'll pick a winner at random on September 12th. Remember, all comments left today will also be entered in our grand prize drawing on November 1st.