Shaken Foundations

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My sister recently experienced an earthquake. Centered only 10 miles from her home in Alaska, Sunday’s 7.1 quake woke her household with a frightening jolt. Bookshelves toppled, pictures were thrown from the walls and glasses fell from the cupboards. The next several adrenaline-laced hours were spent cleaning up broken glass, making sure there were no gas leaks or cracked beams and soothing each other’s frightened nerves.

I am so thankful that the damage to their home was only minor and that she and her husband are safe. It is a frightening experience to have the ground tremble beneath your feet. For those of you who have experienced an earthquake, you know how unsettling it can be. As the ground moves and you hear the strange groaning from the bowels of earth you realize that there is nothing you can do to stop it. Yes, you follow protocol and get beneath a strong doorway and stay away from the windows, but the frightening sensation of the earth moving beneath your feet continues. In those terrifying moments you realize the situation is totally out of your control.

Have you ever felt that sensation in your life? Have you felt the foundations of your world crumble, as the things around you seem to shatter and fall to the ground? Have you heard the rumble of destruction assault your ears as you struggle to make sense of what is happening knowing that the situation is beyond your control? Many of us have and many of us will. Trials are common and not something we can avoid in our lives. Chaos and confusion will reign in troubling circumstances. However, it is how we handle them that determines our survival.

A broken heart, a lost job, unrest between friends…all of these and more can shake the foundations of our lives. We live in a broken world. But when we remember the One who is aware of all things is with us and will never leave us, we are able to stand against the troubles we face. We are loved, unconditionally and without bounds. In the stillness of the night when we desperately search for answers to our hurts, God is by our side. As we turn to Him in prayer, clinging to His word, we are comforted in our sorrow and stress. He will carry us when we can’t walk another step. Though things are confused and in turmoil, God will guide us to safety.

How do I know this? I know because it is the story He has woven into my life. Every time, without fail, that I have faced a situation beyond my control, one that threatened to break me and leave the shattered pieces of my life on the floor, He has rescued me. Every time I have turned to Him in prayer, trusting that He works all things out for the good, I have felt the relief of His peace well up inside me. God is stronger than our trials. He is bigger than our pain. His love for us goes deeper than the foundations of the earth and even if our world were to be shaken, He would still be with us.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37)

God gives us the courage to survive. He promises us that in His perfect timing all will be made right. We can rest assured knowing that our nerves will be soothed and our fears will be lifted. The pain in our hearts will be healed, for our God is a compassionate God and nothing can separate us from His love.

So thankful for His love,

Joan


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. 

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33



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38 comments

  1. Ohhh Joan, You have described my life the last several months with every word you have written. So many changes, unexpected that is, and a foundation that has rumbled so greatly my permanent position has become one of a door way shelter. I, too am so very thankful for His love and my shelter in Him.What a great post!! (Glad your family are all safe)
    Blessings to you!!
    xoxo

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    1. Hi Stacey!

      I'm so sorry there have been these challenges in your life recently... But what a blessing that our God is here to love and shelter us! He will never let us down! Praying that you find courage and much peace in the days to come!

      Blessings, Joan

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    2. Thank you Joan :) I will be adding this post to my favorites on " She Stands"
      xoxo

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  2. Great post, Joan. Brings back to my mind the "worst" time in my life, when the rug really got pulled out from under it, and I was as helpless to fix the situation as if it had been a literal earthquake. It was the worst of times, yet the best of times, because it made me have to lean on God instead of trying to rescue things myself, and learn truly to trust Him. Oh, the amazing things He did, and how clear was His working in my little life! Without the "earthquake," would I have ever known what miracles He still can do? I don't think so. I was saved out of skepticism.

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    1. Isn't it incredible how God can bring such miracles and blessings out of awful situations? I've been amazed by what He does...though, you'd think by this time I wouldn't be surprised anymore! LOL But, I love God's surprises and how He works. God never wastes a hurt. I am so grateful!

      Blessings, Joan

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  3. "We are loved, unconditionally and without bounds." What a beautiful truth to let soak in no matter what circumstances you're in. What you've shared reminds me a verse I have recently been meditating on:

    "As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. (Psalm 119:143)

    We can't always control our situation, but we can control our response. Staying rooted in the Word and in God's love is definitely where I want to be. So glad to be visiting you from #CoffeeForYourHeart

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    1. Hi Becky! Thanks for dropping by! That verse is so perfect. God's word always brings comfort and joy no matter what the situation!

      Blessings, Joan

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  4. I was working in San Francisco when the Loma Prieta quake hit. It was a very frightening experience. And can say the ground beneath me has had it's fair share of shakes lately. I am thankful for a God who keeps me grounded.

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    1. Yes, God is our strength during uncertain times! I'm praying that He covers you with courage, strength and peace during this difficult time you are facing. God is so good! I know He will carry you thought!

      Blessings, Joan

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  5. Beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness. I have been studying the book of Acts and have seen the struggles of the early believers in a new light. Even Paul had times when he was shaken. In Acts 18:9 the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, "Do not be afraid . . . for I am with you."

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    1. Yes, just like the early believers, our faith can waiver at times. However, as we look to God and remember all He has done, we have the courage to stand in whatever our circumstance! There is no need to fear for God is with us!

      Blessings, Joan

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  6. Valerie RichardsonJanuary 28, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Beautiful words, Beautiful Joan, Beautiful God. Thank you for this nourishing meal that reminds me I am on ONE FIRM FOUNDATION! Beautiful, indeed!

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    1. Thanks, Valerie! We do indeed have a beautiful God...full of compassion and grace. Remembering His steadfastness when things are seeming to fall apart gives such strength. We can face whatever is before us with God by our side! Thanks for your sweet comment!

      Blessings, Joan

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  7. I love this, Joan! So grateful for a God who gives me the courage to SURVIVE anytime my feet are on shaky ground! #livefreeThursday

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    1. He is our unmovable Rock, isn't He? I'm so thankful for the courage He gives, too!

      Blessings, Joan

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  8. I was in an earthquake when I lived in Washington and they are terrifying! It is a comfort though to know that God is always with us no matter what the trials we face! Thanks for a great reminder!

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    1. I've been through a few of them, too (I live in California). You are right...they can be scary! I am so thankful to remember that in earthquakes, in trials and in joys our God is right by our side! He loves us and that's enough for me!

      Blessings, Joan

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  9. I love that you ended with that verse in John. It is such a remnant of hope for us to remember. I can't imagine the chaos and fright of being in an earthquake like your sister endured, and I am so glad they are ok. You did a great job tying this to the lesson of trust that He calls us to live out daily.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. The verse in John is one of my favorites. Even though we are not immune from troubles, we are not alone in them. God is always by our side. He promises to carry us through! Thanks for stopping by today!

      Blessings, Joan

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  10. Great encouragement here, Joan. He is the lifter of our heads. I can relate to those seasons that felt entirely out of my control, but yet were neatly within the margins of all God had planned. He is a good, good Father. A little late, but visiting as your neighbor from #threewordwednesday. :)

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    1. Hi Tiffany! Thanks for coming over from #threewordwednesday! I'm glad you were encouraged...yes, He is a good, good Father! I receive so much comfort when I remember I am loved by Him!

      Blessings, Joan

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  11. This was such a beautiful post, Joan. Our lives have been tossed about, keeping us stuck in limbo for almost 5 years now. But God. My two favorite words! He's kept our foundation firm and sharpened our ability to live in limbo while trusting Him and keeping His joy and peace as the cornerstone of our testimony. Knowing He will always be there to turn to - always there to reach in and rescue is so comforting. I can never understand how unbelievers weather the storms. I pray for many to know His hope, His comfort, His rescue - and this post will bring that to some who may have never known!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. Thanks so much Lori! I love adding those two words to any sentence about my trials! What an encouragement... No matter what is happening, no matter how challenging something is..."but God!" He is the answer to all our troubles. He turns the problem into a blessed answer. I'm joining you in praying for those who are yet to know His hope!

      Blessings, Joan

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  12. Yes, I have had my foundation rocked. When I lost my older sister suddenly at 19, my world changed forever. But The Lord carried me, despite my fierce anger and sadness. I'm so glad your sister is okay after that powerful earthquake!

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    1. What a tragedy to lose your sister. I'm so sorry... I love that you know that the Lord carried you during that time of sadness and grief. We can count on Him to always by by our side helping us through even the most difficult of times.

      Blessings, Joan

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  13. Romans 8:37 is one of my all-time favorite verses. This was a good reminder that I needed today! I hope you can stop by:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/01/songs-on-sunday-call-it-grace-by.html

    Colletta

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    1. God is our strength, isn't He? Thanks for stopping by! Blessings, Joan

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  14. I so loved that whole paragraph which followed, "How do I know this?" It's the story He's woven into my life too. Beautiful words of encouragement, Joan. Much love to you. xoxo

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    1. Hi Beth! Yes, God teaches us through our stories, doesn't He? But, they are good lessons that I love to share with the hope that they will encourage others! Hope you're having a blessed Sunday!

      Love to you, too! Joan

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    2. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses never cease, for His compassions NEVER fail, they are new every morning. . .

      Despite feeling shattered and broken, we always get another day.

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    3. We can count on our Loving Father to never leave our side! He will give us the strength we need to face all that is before us! I am so thankful!

      Love you, Bonnie! Joan

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  15. Every time...He has rescued me. What encouraging words to read this morning. God knew I would read the words he gave you. Thank you for your faithfulness in writing HIS words.

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    1. Good morning, Pamela! I'm so glad this post encouraged you! God will carry us through each circumstance placed before us. He'll never leave us alone for His love is great. Blessings to you on this beautiful Sunday! Joan

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  16. Hi Joan! I consider myself blessed to know with all my being that what you've shared is true. So thankful for His love. Amen. Thanks for linking up with #GiveMeGrace today!

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    1. I love how God shows us His love when we need it the most! During the times in my life when I felt things falling apart, God gave me strength to continue. His love carried me through. I'm with you...I consider myself blessed!

      Blessings, Joan

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  17. Came back to your words twice. Truth will do that. You're the #GiveMeGrace Wordsmith of the Week!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisha! It is such a comfort to remember that God is always by our side! He'll carry us through everything that is before us. No matter how difficult or painful our trial, we are never alone...Our God is such a compassionate God!

      What a blessing to have a shout out from you at #GiveMeGrace!



      Blessings, Joan

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