Monday, January 4, 2021

Of Earthquakes & Storms

 By: Joanne Viola


The past year has been a challenging time for our world. Difficulties have been faced to some degree or another; situations which were completely unexpected or even not at all welcomed. Some may have had their lives shaken to the core of their being.

This brought the word “earthquake” to mind and had me remember an earthquake with epic effects.

After being stripped, beaten, and flogged, Paul and Silas were sent to prison. One can probably assume, their mood was somber and yet we are told:

“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”  (Acts 16:25, NASB)

They chose to do the hard thing and praise God. Scripture continues to tell us:

“And suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” (verse 26)

The familiar story of Paul and Silas brings to light several things for us to think on:

  1. There will  be people who watch and listen to our response. The other prisoners “listened” (verse 25).
  2. The “earthquake” is sometimes needed to set us free from the very things which are holding us back (verse 26).
  3. Sometimes the earthquake occurs so that not only we find freedom, but those around us as well. It is not only about us (verse 26). Perhaps in discovering freedom ourselves, we make a way for our families and our friends to also find freedom.

We often think people expect us to have it all together, no matter what may come our way. Perhaps that is not it at all. Maybe they are just watching to see what our responses are going to be when life is off the Richter Scale. This is the true testimony of our faith, and when they get to see God at work in our lives.

The story of Paul and Silas continues. The jailer, thinking all the prisoners have escaped, is ready to kill himself. Paul shouts out to him, letting him know all the prisoners are still present in their cells. The jailer realizing that they are telling the truth, exclaims,

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (verse 30)

Their one response brought salvation to the jailer. It was in the midst of an earthquake the jailer found Christ. Not only the jailer but all those in his house, his entire family, received the word of the Lord and were baptized. 

Each of our lives will be shaken at times.
But here’s the thing: we all get to choose our response when that “earthquake” hits.


Prayer for today: Lord, teach us to respond correctly in the midst of every every storm in life!


Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash 








  1. That's a good thought--that the things that shake our world can free us from our chains plus be a testimony and reveal needs to others.

    1. The Lord does not waste trials in our lives but uses them in the most amazing of ways.


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