If you’ve ever been through an earthquake, you know how scary they can be. As a Californian, I’ve experienced many trembles—some undetectable, others more jarring. Once I awoke to a quake, and realized my bunk bed had shimmied all the way to the middle of the room!
As a ten year old, that was entertaining. But not all quakes are. The Easter Sunday quake a few years ago shook fear right through me. My then-eight-year-old daughter wide-eyed with panic as our dining room table traveled the room. Two of my other girls outside riding bikes, and all I could think was “Lord, keep those streets sound… my girls safe!”
Yep, when the earth shakes, it’s scary.
For the past few weeks I’ve been MIA around here because I’ve been in the middle of a quake—a personal one. My daughter’s beginning her transition home next week and I don’t feel she’s fully ready (nor am I, if I’m honest). My home will once again be a place full of social workers to support her and follow up on my parenting. The thought of it all unsettles me, brings fear clamoring up to the surface, old hopes shaken in the tremble.
Can God really bring down the walls of this Jericho? And when He does, will they collapse on top of me in their crumbling?
I know the Israelites wondered that same thing. The final day of their circling the fortress of Jericho, knowing the strength and height and weight of the wall that God promised would crumble as they shouted. Where would that wall land? On them? On their enemies? That was a lot of stone to break through…
You know that feeling, too. That longing for breakthrough, for victory. And that nice, healthy fear of it, too. You’ve worked toward breakthrough, walked around it, believed as best you can that it’s possible, even if evidence fights hope. And as the first of the wall, hundreds of feet high, begins to crumble, fear seizes you: “Where will the rest of this fall? Will the breakthrough …break me?”
May I say something to that fear? As a friend in the middle of it with you right now?
If breakthrough didn’t scare us silly, it wouldn’t be a significant victory in our lives.
And it wouldn’t be God-breathed, either. Because this God—this Creator of the universe—He does total breakthrough. Restore-life-to-the-dead-and-sight-to-the-blind breakthrough. I’m pretty sure the dead guy who woke to life again was at least a little freaked out by that. The one who’d been blind since birth? Don’t tell me he wasn’t shocked by the sight of sunshine.
Any divine breakthrough jars us. It’s a soul-quake… a life-quake. The dropping of a tons-heavy wall in a moment. A breakthrough that both scares and relieves us. Rends and heals. Pushes us outside ourselves and our resources, and into the hands of the Master Builder (and re-builder).
It will shake you to the core. But you will come out the other side. And oh! The sweetness of that other side.
Hold tight, friend. If you’re hoping for—needing—a breakthrough in 2013, it may get scary first. But you are not alone.
And. it. is. going. to. be. AMAZING.