Last night, we had another earthquake. This one was a 5.0 and the epic center was only about 5 miles from my house. In the realm of earthquakes, it wasn’t very long or damaging. Only about 5 seconds and a few things fell off the shelves. But as far as I’m concerned, any earthquake is to long. This was the biggest shake we have felt yet. It feels like your house has been smashed into by a semi-truck. You are sitting there, and then you feel the ground beneath you trembling and then you hear everything rattling and there is this loud roar that comes with it sometimes. Just about the time your brain registers “Oh-no, we are having another earthquake”, it is almost over. And then you are left just sitting or standing, processing everything that just happened. For me, it’s my childrens safety. Last night I was at a meeting when the earthquake happened. So I tried calling Eric to check on them. But of course the phone lines are all tied up and busy. Your call won’t go through. And you realize that you have just been cut off with communication from your family.
Living here, there is lots of talk about earthquakes. We are all waiting for the “Big One”. This earthquake is what the geologists say is capable of causing widespread destruction and is 99 percent certain of hitting California within the next 30 years. That’s in my lifetime. Earthquake experts have long said San Bernardino(this city is about a mile from our house) is particularly vulnerable to a massive temblor. San Bernardino lies between two of the state’s most active earthquake faults, the San Andreas and the San Jacinto. And to complicate things, most of the city was built above a huge underground water basin. Experts say this loose soil could liquefy in the event of a massive quake, causing buildings to topple.
We are all told to always have an “Earthquake Kit” on hand. Consisting of water, flashlights, food, batteries, radio, blankets, and first-aid. There are classes that the fire department offer on how to be better prepared and what to do when the Big One comes. Eric and I have both taken this class. We learned things like how to shut off our main gas and water lines. How to search for victims after the quake. How to triage and set up first-aid stations. Of course for Eric this is just a review. After serving in the Army as his team’s medic on their deployments, he knows all this stuff firsthand. But for me it was really overwhelming. I learned how to enter a building, decide who is still alive and then decided who is capable of being moved outside. And how to mark buildings with a spray paint can to let others know if the building/house has already been searched and how many are dead inside.
When I think of the widespread destruction this earthquake will deliver, I get scared sometimes. But the worst for me is the not knowing. When will it come? How long will it last? A minute, 10 minutes, 20 minutes??? How violent will the earth shake as the these two faults shift and move and relieve all the pressure that has been building over the years? Where will I be?
So one day as I was talking with the children about earthquakes, I realized how much an earthquake is like Jesus coming back. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night” We know that Jesus will come back one day. But we do not know when He is coming. Just like the earthquakes. So just like always being prepared for the Big One, we must also always be prepared for Jesus coming back. Our hearts must be ready and waiting. Because, just like the earthquake, there will be no time to get ready. If I don’t have water and food ready,then I will have NO water or food. And if my heart does not belong to Jesus and I am not living for Him, then there will be no time to change once He has come.
So each earthquake is a nice reminder to me now, am I ready? Because today we could have a massive earthquake or….Jesus could come back.