So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
On Friday, November 30, 2018, at about 8:30 AM, Anchorage, Alaska was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
My son Cameron, daughter-in-law Missy and my grandson Clark, all live just outside of Anchorage in the suburb of Eagle River. Cameron had just returned home after his morning physical training with the army and was having breakfast with the family before he headed back to the base, when the earthquake struck. They had already experienced several earthquakes in Anchorage but this one topped them all. There was no slow build up, it hit powerfully from the beginning and grew quickly to its full force within seconds. It shook the house as if it were built on sticks instead of a cement foundation.
Missy grabbed Clark from his high chair and the three of them ran to the closest doorway to wait out the quake. The lights went out in the first five seconds and the darkness of an Alaskan winter surrounded them. They stood huddled together as the quake continued to shake their world. The deep thumping noise so loud and terrifying it almost covered the sound of breaking glass as everything in cupboards and shelves came crashing down.
The shaking wouldn’t stop. It seemed to go on and on. Missy began to pray, “Jesus, Jesus, help us”. For 54 seconds their lives hung in the balance and then the noise subsided and the shaking stopped.
They stood there in the dark, afraid to take a step, not knowing what sharp object they might step on or if the quake would resume. As their hearts began to beat again, they realized, they were all three, unhurt from the biggest earthquake they had ever experienced. They lifted up their praise and thanks to God.
They had lost stuff, but stuff didn’t seem very important to them in the moment. What was important, was the health and breath of each one of them as they stood in each other’s embrace.
The quake had done more than just rattle their community and their home, the quake had given a big shake to their hearts. Letting the unimportant things fall to the bottom, and the importance of life and family rise to the top. Reminding them, what their real priorities were.
It was like a breath of fresh air, the joy of the Christmas season took on a whole new meaning. God was at work in their life. He always had been, but now they had a fresh glimpse of His loving hand among them.
Jesus had come to earth, to reconcile us to the Father and to reconcile us, with each other. Jesus thought people were so important, He died for each one of us. He wants us to value and love each other.
Prayer: Dear Father, prepare us for the next big quake. Do we need a priority adjustment? Lord forgive us for putting stuff and things above people and relationships. Help us be more like you, as we make loving others our top priority.