The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 7, 2013

Lifequakes make us value the unshakable

By Bev Davis

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Jan. 17, 2009. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

One of the newest buzz words out there is lifequake.

According to an Internet website that tracks new words, lifequake refers to an event that suddenly changes your life  — a car accident, being laid off, a catastrophic illness, getting divorced, losing your home in an earthquake or fire or suffering from any other unpredictable life-changing event.

“Whether old hipster slang or a new Californian term, lifequake conveys an understanding that sometimes life can shock and hurt.

“Lifequake is a fast way to communicate a harsh reality. Lifequakes happen,” according to slang.

Although the term has been around since the 1970s, I encountered it for the first time this week in an e-mail.

Lifequake is certainly a fitting term for any one of those chaotic situations that catch us totally off guard and leave us reeling as we face an uncertain future.

Lifequakes can change and redefine what we believe about ourselves, other people and — most critically, for some of us — our faith in God.

As we are shaken by personal tragedy or feel the tremors from someone else’s lifequake, we need some place to stay grounded.

For me, that place is in the will of God.

I’m certainly not smart enough to define His will or to explain to someone else what His divine plan might be for them.

However, I do find real comfort and strength in believing He is in control of the situations that shake us to our core.

In Hebrews 12:26, I read this week, “God shakes the things that can be shaken so that the unshakable things can remain.”

The tremors of the chaos around me remind me that His wisdom, love, mercy and grace are unshakable. I can count on them, no matter what.

God is my still point in a turning world.

Lifequakes do happen, but they never take God by surprise, and He sees the end from the beginning and can turn tragedy into triumph. Lifequakes can shock and hurt, but God can calm and heal.

May the things that shake us remind us all to trust more fully in the One Who remains unshakable.