We had a 5.1 earthquake in North Carolina yesterday—apparently it was the first one of this kind of magnitude we’ve had in the state in over 100 years.
We’re definitely not used to earthquakes around here—at least not the natural ones.
As I was reading about the earthquake in the news yesterday, the thing I found the most intriguing is the fact that just the day before, the same area had what they call a “foreshock”—or actually a whole series of foreshocks.
“There were 8 foreshocks ranging from Md1.8 to 2.6, the earliest of which was a Md2.1 that occurred on August 8, one day prior to the 5.1 mainshock”(Wikipedia)
“A foreshock is an earthquake that occurs before a larger seismic event (the mainshock) and is related to it in both time and space.”
“Foreshock activity has been detected for about 40% of all moderate to large earthquakes, and about 70% for events of M>7.0. They occur from a matter of minutes to days or even longer before the main shock…”(Wikipedia)
And something about this whole thing has got me processing and thinking and asking,
“God, what are You saying in all of this? Is there something we can learn or be aware of that You’re revealing?”
Of course, the first thing I obviously thought of is the “shaking” from the earthquake, and how it’s like the “shaking” that is happening in all of our lives, in different ways and in all different levels…
But the thing I’m taking note of more than anything is the fact that there was a “foreshock” that came before this earthquake.
There were “warning” signs—and I think of “birth pains” —that came before this larger mainshock the following day.
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.” —Mark 13:8
“And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” —Matthew 24:4-8
I believe the “birth pains” —are actually everything that is going on around us in the world right now… and this sequence of events with this particular and relatively minor earthquake has got me realizing, in a deeper way…
That it really does feel like we are living in the “last hour” of time as we’ve known it, here on this earth.
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” —2 Peter 3:8
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”—Matthew 24:36
But we know that “birth pains” are meant to get the attention of the mother—because of the birth pains, she knows that the birth is getting very close, the end is “almost in sight” … and it gives her time to be aware and time to do final preparations, and time to get herself in place before the birth.
Do you know that as a child, and into my adulthood, I had such a tremendous fear of living in these times that we are living in right now?
I lived my life in constant fear of what these times might be like.
But He helped me to overcome those extreme fears, and He’s still helping me through the more “unnoticeable” ones… but I’m not living in torment anymore.
But Interestingly enough, here I find myself living in the times I was so terrified of, and here I find myself right in the midst of a lot of turmoil around me in the world, and yet I feel “kept” and yet I feel at peace, because I know that I am sheltered beneath His wings. He’s been teaching this to me in Psalm 91 over the last couple of years.
And living in His presence doesn’t mean I won’t have to endure hardship, it means that “I am kept” in His presence, and in His presence there is peace, and “I am able.” ☀️
In His presence, I am preserved so that I can do what I have been created to do while I’m living here on this earth.
I know that I was created to be able to live in these times…
He created me knowing… that I would be living within these kinds of times.
Don’t you think a good Father would prepare His children for living their lives?
Don’t you think, knowing that He would create us to live in these kinds of times, that He would make us able, that He would equip us? That He would empower us? That He would give us what we need to be able to do what we’ve been created to do?
Don’t you think that He would use us in a way that is completely unique to these times? Don’t you think that He would design us in such a way, that He would equip us in such a way, that we would be able to do what we were created to do, and we would be able to love the broken world in a way that He asks us to be able to love the world?
Don’t you think a good Father like Him, would have good plans for His children—that we could be a Light in the earth when there is so much darkness?
He has not created us with the intention of us living in a cave of fear and worry…
He created us with a beautiful desire in His heart… that we might live in a way that reflects His heart to a hurting and broken world, that we may draw “these ones” to His heart in a time of “final preparation”…
Father, help us to not be afraid of living in these times—forgive us for giving into fear…help us to live in a way that is pleasing to You, that we would do the things You created us to do, that we wouldn’t run to the caves in fear, that we wouldn’t bury our heads in the sand, but that we would rise up and do the things You designed us to do in this time. Thank You that we don’t need to live in fear while living in these times.
I pray for those who are “swaying” in this time—they’re on the fence about following You. Call them and draw them to Your heart, Lord Jesus. Let them realize who You are and what You want to do in their lives! Let them realize the hour we are living in…
You’ve promised to equip us, and You’ve promised to be with us. Help us to remember what we need to remember in these times, and help us to realize what You need us to realize in our hearts. Thank You for giving us these “foreshocks”—these “birth pains” so we can realize what time we’re living in. You have promised to help us navigate through this world, and You’re faithful. Thank You, Father. ?