Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shake It Up

Shake It Up

Recently an unexpected 6.0 earthquake shook Napa, CA and shocked residents of the idyllic winemaking valley. The damage from the quake resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to historic buildings, several fires, and about 200 injuries. Within hours the governor declared a state of emergency and mobilized the necessary resources to assist the county.

But there was a silver-lining to the chaos caused by the earthquake. Within a few days, news stories began to emerge marveling at the sudden increase in water in the rivers and streams surrounding Napa. Geologists soon confirmed that the four to ten time increase in flows in streams and rivers were the result of the earthquake shaking loose groundwater supplies. For a drought stricken area, this presented an unexpected gift in the middle of an otherwise challenging and difficult time.

No one in Napa would have asked for that earthquake. Earthquakes are destructive and undesired. But sometimes earthquakes bring unexpected goods along with them. They expose weakness and demand that we rebuild more wisely. They force us to work together and to care for our fellow man. And, yes, sometimes they even open the ground and release springs of water.

These things are true, not only of physical earthquakes that affect the ground, but also the earthquakes that affect our relationships, health and finances. You may never have experienced a violent, building destroying earthquake, but almost certainly you have walked through a death or sickness in your family, the loss of a job or even a fissured marriage or friendship.

These quakes are no less destructive than the ones that shake the ground and they can result in severe and long-term damage. But they can also reveal inside of us, wells of strength and untapped resources that we did not know existed. 

I have experienced a number of violent quakes in my life. Some of them were so severe that I wasn’t sure I would make it out. But I have discovered that when I look up to heaven and ask for help instead of looking down and cursing the situation, I discover God’s grace and help in ways I didn’t even know existed. 

Jesus said, “whoever believes in me will have rivers of living water flowing from his heart.” I have found this to be true, especially when circumstances are at their shakiest around me. When we reach out to our Heavenly Father in earthquake moments, we discover that He has hidden resources reserved for the moments in life when we need them most.

The pastors in Kings County would love the opportunity to encourage you to tap into the river of God this weekend. Why don’t you grab your family and get into church this Sunday? You will discover new resources in the midst of the earthquakes of life.

Andrew Cromwell is the executive pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford. E-mail him at or call 582-1528.

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