Jan and I live in a small historic gold rush town. The buildings that line our downtown were constructed in the mid-1800s. The construction materials of choice were brick and mortar. While they look strong, if an earthquake takes place the mortar will weaken releasing their hold on the bricks and our cherished history will lay in piles of rubble at our feet. The last significant earthquake in the region happened over 300 years ago. Our downtown was built without that consideration.
In the natural world, prolonged shaking during an earthquake is what produces damage. Once the shaking is over it leaves behind damaged buildings and infrastructures, people are injured or killed and entire regions are left in disarray and ruin. In God’s kingdom shaking has another purpose. It disassembles the weak things where we mistakenly placed our trust apart from God. After this season of shaking is over, we will have an opportunity to work in concert with the Spirit to construct new and lasting spiritual structures able to endure the trauma that always comes with living on the fault lines of an unstable world.
So much is shaking in our world. We are currently living through a prolonged social quake. God is allowing this shaking to take place to disempower those things not worthy of our trust. Misplaced trust is like the mortar between bricks. It will crumble under the influence of intense shaking. Every spiritual shaking throughout the history of the Church has caused us to reevaluate where we have placed our trust. Any rebuilding process we engage in will hopefully consider that issue. Everything around us can fall to the ground but our hope will always be secure if we have placed our trust in Jesus Christ and Him alone.
The Lord experienced an earthquake when the stone was rolled away from the entrance to His tomb. “Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it” (Matthew 28:2). Resurrection followed that shaking 2,000 years ago and it will follow the shaking we are now experiencing. A season of shaking will always carry with it the promise of resurrection and reconstruction if our hope has been placed in the faithfulness and goodness of God.