Yesterday’s earthquake was the biggest to hit Washington DC in nearly 70 years. My Californian colleagues laughed at the panic – this was not as big as the ones that frequently hit the West coast.
As the floor started to lurch violently under my feet, the first thing I thought was: where can I go to escape this? There was nothing I could do to stop it or hide from it. The earthquake, or at least the One controlling it, was Sovereign. I was in his hands.
All of us in the office looked at each other as if to say, “Did you feel that too?” It was clear the whole building was shaking, and that even the ground in the parking lot three floors below would be doing the same. It would be no good running up the stairs, but would it be any safer running in the other direction? Not knowing any better, we leapt to our feet and charged down to the exit, barely touching the ground as we did so. I felt at any second as if the last thing I’d experience would be the crushing weight of concrete falling on me from above.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:22). Paul was not joking. I felt it more clearly than ever yesterday.
What should we think about what just happened to us? This springs to mind: If these are just the birthpangs, something even more real and inescapable and powerful is coming. One day soon we will look at each other in shock and wonder and – yes, some of us – terror.
What should we do? Keep reading Romans 8:
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
There is only one safe place to hide. And despite what my Californian colleagues said, it’s not under a door frame.
[Image: New York Times]