On Earthquakes and Fear

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Fear is one of those things that each human has to face. There are many famous quotes about fear. There are many passages in the Bible that deal with fear. But I, for one, feel like fear is one of my greater struggles.

For example, in 2010 I was in a car accident that I caused because I fell asleep. Ever since then, I have had a fear of driving. I don’t have to face it when I’m abroad, because I rely completely on public transportation. Or, when I watch documentaries about food and the arguments for strictly eating organic vegetables and grass-fed meat, I become fearful of what I put into my body because there are no options for organic here.

But then there come seasons of earthquakes in a part of the world where earthquakes are not a normal part of life. The city panics. The people panic. My students are crippled with fear. In the last month we have encountered 4 earthquakes and for some reason, people in my city are convinced that tomorrow (?!?!) there will be an earthquake. They have canceled some schools, parents are coming to fetch their children, panic. The advice I was given was to buy instant noodles and water. Perfect.

How do you face a situation like this? No one really knows what’s gonna happen. Actually, there could be an earthquake anywhere in the world and God, will still be sovereign. But when everyone around you is responding to their fear in serious ways, what do I do?

I talked to some family members, they gave their suggestions for “what to do”. Yet, there are no ideal places to go here for “safe shelter”. This city is comprised almost entirely of high buildings all made with tons of concrete. I teach on a high floor, and live on a high floor. There’s not a whole lot that you can do– oh and the people on campus don’t know what to do either.

I sat and talked to my heavenly father. I wanted to turn to the Psalms but I didn’t know which one. I asked and I turned to Psalm 34, started reading, then smiled. Comfort from truth is like none other. “Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” // “Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!” This fear is a totally different kind of fear from what the people around me experience. This is a healthy fear, this is the fear that I want to have. I steady my heart on the truth of His promises, I don’t want to live any other way.

In life or death– my anchor holds. And hey, What ever happens, I’m headed to a place that won’t be shaken (heb 12:28).

My hope is not in these buildings, this city, or what people say, but in the maker of the universe. He’s got this.

Aware | v

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[ A little morning market action– veggies and breakfast for the win… ]

I recently saw¬† a little cartoon sketch saying that November is the month where people give thanks, but the rest of the year they complain. Let this not be so. Giving thanks should be a lifestyle. So here are a few of the many things I’ve encountered recently that cause my heart to give thanks.

Cheers to the neighbor who hides cake in my fridge, not one but two slices– you make my days bright with little surprises like that. Cheers to the people who just sold me oranges, yelling at me and not letting me chose what I wanted to get… you help me to see my sin and my selfishness which I’ve seen a lot of lately. Cheers to the friends that have birthdays this month, you remind me why life is such a sweet gift and worth celebrating, your lives are a testimony to faithfulness and the sovereignty of God. Cheers to the people who welcomed my father home after his many months, studying and serving abroad. Cheers to a sweet woman who has brightened this last week with her heartfelt emails. I’ve never really had a godly mentor-type woman in my life but this woman is all that and more. Cheers to the morning market breakfast stalls, fresh food is fun (who cares about cleanliness anyway?) and walking along being greeted (I mean stared at) by all of the old people is also fun.

What are you grateful for?