Therefore the Lord GOD said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable. Isaiah 28:16
Over Christmas I started reading Unshaken by Dan Wooley because my mom and brother said it was really good. It’s a story from the Haiti earthquake. Dan was trapped under a collapsed hotel there for 65 hours before he was rescued. But it’s not just the story of his physical rescue (he nearly died); it’s the story of how God used that horrifying experience to bring about spiritual rescue in his life. I love a true story, and this one did not disappoint. There was a part at the end, though, that was especially meaningful to me.
My friends hear me joke, “It’s alllll part of my testimony” a lot, like when I have a 5 minute conversation with someone I’ve just met and then realize there was a big hunk of dark green lettuce in between my two front teeth the whole time. The thing is, I really do believe that it’s all part of my testimony, even when I’m not joking around. I’m a firm believer that God uses all the experiences of our lives to grow us and use us if we’ll let Him. But Dan says it way better than that:
We do not know when an earthquake may come into our lives or what form it will take. But when it comes, God is not taken by surprise; nor are his plans for us frustrated. In fact, whether God creates the crisis or merely allows it in our lives, he uses it for his purpose. Earthquakes in our lives shake us – but they can also be used by God to bring about the development of our character and spirit, to fulfill his plans for us. And that’s what happened to me. God used the Haiti earthquake to teach Christy and me lessons about trusting him. (222)
With God’s grace, I am no longer living a half life; instead, I am living a new kind of life, a life closer to the life Jesus talked about when he said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” For me, that means living each moment as a precious gift, with an intentional focus on nurturing our marriage and living out my faith.
While I was in Haiti, lots of things were shaken by the earthquake, including how I viewed myself, my marriage, and my faith. But the quake also shook loose a lot of things that weren’t important, leaving the solid foundation on which my life is built: my faith and my family. It’s ironic to think that I went to Haiti to participate in Compassion’s programs that rescue children- and I ended up being the one who needed rescue. The Haiti earthquake wasn’t the first quake I’d faced, and it won’t be the last. However, my experience showed me that whatever is thrown at me doesn’t matter.