Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow and an Earthquake!

Please forgive the absence of postings recently. One or two friends have asked about my health! No, I am chugging along fairly healthily but with a more than usually busy February, which has bogged me down.

However, a couple of happenings deserve mention, though many of you have shared the first - SNOW! Carol and I traveled down to Muncie, Indiana, last week in order for me to speak to the students at Taylor University in their main Friday chapel, conduct a pastors' conference on Saturday, and preach twice at First Baptist Church, Muncie on the Sunday. Snow was forecast but we managed the journey in sunshine. However, on the next day, scheduled for my university visit, the storm (that created havoc in the mid-west through to the east coast) began throwing snow at us. We drove carefully to the campus and were welcomed by a wonderfully enthusiastic (non-compulsory) mass of students. All the time, snow was falling. Later I taught in a class "Participating in Expository Bible teaching" with the chaplain. Driving back through ever-thickening snow we wondered what Saturday would bring. Waking early to prepare for the Pastors' Conference I saw snow a foot deep, driven into deeper drifts by the wind, piled up around the house. The conference was canceled! All the plans that we made came to nought! It wakes you up to how easily our plans can be overturned. We are so vulnerable in many ways.

The second wake-up call was of a different order. In the early hours of last Wednesday morning I was woken out of deep sleep by the whole house being shaken. Instantly I knew it was an earthquake...though I had never been through one before. It was extraordinary in its suddeness and power - shaking everything! Of 3.8 magnitude (which is minute compared with Haiti) its epicenter was in the next county to ours. Apparently we live on top of the New Madrid Fault so earthquakes may occur again.

It is sobering to remember human limitations in the face of great natural forces. And amazing to know that God, whose name is majestic in all the earth, cares for us. We really marvel: "What is man that you are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4)

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