Shake Me To Wake Me

‘…A-whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on.
Well we ain’t fakin’.
A-whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on.”
(1957) “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” Recorded by: Jerry Lee Lewis Composer: Dave “Curlee” Williams. Also credited: James Faye “Roy” Hall

I am no seismologist, just a casual observer of earthquakes. When, where, why, etc. A true student of this study must work diligently to keep up with all the tremors and quakes around the globe. Technology in seismology and geological surveying has come a long way in the last few decades. Even future epicenters can be calculated and located from pole to pole, as well as, projected severity. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent tectonic plates from shifting.

Tragedy struck Turkey and Syria recently with a 7.8 and 7.6 quake leaving widespread death, destruction, and devastated citizens from those nations. I dare not mention the body count here because of the rising numbers growing by each hour as rescue and recovery efforts continue. There is an estimate of dozens of thousands. As I write this line, the number has risen above 20,000 thus far. So heartbreaking. The hospitals, still standing, continue to see the massive number of injured being carried through their doors. Responders must work quickly with the freezing weather, not to mention the clock is the enemy. With each passing minute, the lives of trapped survivors throughout the region are fading away as I write this post. Needless to say, by the time you read this sentence, a throng of individuals, from infants to the elderly, have been added to the perished.

Photo by Sanej Prasad Suwal on

This morning, I was watching the news update from Turkey at the site of a high-rise apartment building where rescue efforts are frantically toiling 24/7. In this case, where there was a multi-floor residency, there is only a heaping mound of concrete and steel. One volunteer was quickly interviewed. Through his tears, he described the scene. People, many of them children, are alive under tons of debris, texting and vocally crying out for recue. He went on to say, after catching his breath while sobbing, the responders are pleading for assistance due to not enough workers for the gargantuan job at hand.

Photo by Pixabay on

In the same news report, there came a moment when recue workers were able to reach a small boy, and unearthed a very young girl who were still alive under the debris. I was struck by the ignition of jubilation, the excitement, the sheer cheering from the hundreds who were witnessing the sight of the two babies being pulled from the mountain of rubble. The kids were being passed around as so many were hugging, kissing and holding the toddlers while screaming in celebration. Although now orphaned, the two children were brought out of the brink of a sad, slow death, into the light of life by selfless relief workers risking their own lives in the struggle. Honestly, the sound of roaring celebrations just exploded as if it were a hail Mary touchdown pass in a super bowl game. There were workers dancing, praying aloud, and falling on their knees as if all restraint had been vacuumed out of them.

Photo by Luis Quintero on

Quakes reaching 7.8 and 7.6 are considered enormous, and they are. Not many structures are able to stand intact. Only the richest nations, the most technological savvy countries, have the ability to construct earthquake ready structures designed by talented engineers. The truth is, so many third world nations sit on volatile fault lines as the clock ticks.

A few hours after the news broke from Turkey and Syria, my daughter, Megan, text me saying she and her husband were having breakfast when shaking, rattling and rolling interrupted their morning around 6:15. They are far from the epicenter in Turkey and Syria. They are in Buffalo, NY. The latest info I read gave it a 4.4, up from the first report of 3.8. It is being called the most severe earthquake in western NY in 40 years. Can we say the Buffalo quake is related to the Turkey and Syrian quakes? Only the seismologists will be able to tell us. One thing is for sure, for the layperson, earthquakes come usually without warning. They are sudden, impactful, and has the ability to kill, displace, or even leave lifelong psychological scars.

Photo by Craig Adderley on

At this time a multitude of international relief organizations are on site, or on their way with much needed aid. Samaritan’s Purse is one of the most reliable outreach ministries on the planet. I would highly recommend them if you are urged to donate to the efforts in Turkey and Syria.

I have never been in an earthquake…yet. The ground under my feet has never moved. The buildings around me have never swayed, crumbled to the ground, or cracked from the foundation. However, life has done that to me several times. How about you? You are minding your own business, soberly walking along your daily grind, when suddenly that phone call comes. There may even be a warning tremor letting you know you are on dangerous territory. At first you think pulling away from the epicenter of the trouble is wise, then with the shrugging of shoulders you forget about it and take that next step. Maybe your quake came in a conference room, with steaming coffee in hand and a bright outlook for the day, when suddenly, the floor comes out from beneath you as the pink slip comes. Many personal quakes come with a doctor’s diagnosis. You felt fine, not realizing there is an epicenter inside your body erupting, knocking you to a gurney, or even a funeral home. These epicenters can and will shake the sturdiest of people.

Photo by Almada Studio on

Whether it’s a geological shifting of tectonic plates, or a personal unanticipated devastation , there is a Rock to grip that is higher than your strength, your emotions, your efforts, or your pet med of choice. After all, isn’t that what we need when a whole lot of shakin’ is goin’ on? Isn’t that what we want in life, to live on solid ground? Do we not want a sturdy, strong, steadfast stone to hold to in times of shifting sand?

Personal quakes often have served me well to wake me up with a good shake. Usually when the dust settles, a learning process has had its way.

Jesus told a parable (So we would get it.) surrounding a house built on sand and another built on stone. Just like the three little pigs, the house built on sand collapsed during unexpected unforgiving storms. The house built on stone survived well the battering winds. He is that Rock. Once dead, then raised to life by His own power. That is a Rock higher than I. Unlike the nearest epicenter, there is no fault in Him.

Locate your everlasting shelter in fuel for the race.

“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” – Psalm 61: 2-4 (NAS)


19 Replies to “Shake Me To Wake Me”

  1. You are right…the battering winds and storms of this life can be unforgiving. But, God is our ‘rock’. Through the debris of travesty, He never leaves us. Your ending on this post is very good…your last line in particular! Praying for all those injured and the families who have lost loved ones in these earthquakes, and all the rescue workers who are doing their very best to save lives.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Alan. Life has a way of proving that nothing is stable or sure. I find myself praying about the happenings of things I do not understand, a lot. Life and God are two separate entities, and he invites us into His while we often stand back and try to plead him into ours.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. He is the only promise of solid ground and stability we have, may we be strengthened by Him daily. Praying for those whose faith is not in Jesus.
    Great analogy you have here, as always, Alan.
    Praying for those in Turkey and Syria.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The devastation in Turkey and Syria just breaks my heart and I’m glad to support Samaritan’s Purse as they go there to help. I’ve only experienced three earth shaking experiences but they were mild. Once when we lived in Oregon and we had a minor quake that shook our house and belongings and woke us up in a hurry at 5 a.m. but did no damage. Prior to that we experienced a tremor while vacationing in California. And another little tremor many years later here in Pennsylvania which shook my desk at work. But those were frightening enough. I can’t even imagine the fear that a major quake causes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only experience in this arena is a quake many years ago north of us in Oklahoma. Living in north Dallas, hundreds of miles from the epicenter in Oklahoma, I saw a chain from the light switch on a desk lamp sway slightly for no reason. I also suddenly felt queezy, as if I had been on a spin. I was on the third floor of my home at the time, so maybe there was a slight movement, or rolling and didn’t know it. So odd.


  5. I would love a little less shaking right now in my life. Still, I understand your point and agree with you on why things shake for us at times. I know I cling more to Christ while I’m being shook up. I have some physical shaking going on in my body right and that scares me, but it’s a good reminder to hold on to Christ even when I feel unsteady.

    Also, I live about 3 or 4 hours south of Buffalo and didn’t hear about the earthquake. I swear the news only covers politics anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The youth group at our church had a retreat right after the earthquake that devastated Haiti. One of the sessions had teams of teens competing to see who could build the biggest, most impressive tower or castle or fort out of Styrofoam cups. There were about five folding tables where each team carefully built their structures. Some of them were pretty impressive. When the allotted time was up, they all stood back as the judge examined each one. At the moment we expected him to announce the winner, instead, he walked past the tables, giving each one a slight shake, and all the kids’ work came tumbling down in seconds. Suddenly our thoughts and prayers were back on Haiti.

    Liked by 1 person

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