My Earthquake Bag

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“921 earthquake: a 7.6 magnitude earthquake which occurred in Nantou Country, Taiwan on September 21, 1999. 2,415 deaths, 11,305 injuries. Second deadliest quake in recorded history of Taiwan.”


After surviving this tremor and its subsequent 12 thousand plus aftershocks over the next month, I decided to be better prepared for the next one.


After waking up in the dark with no electricity, I decided to keep a flashlight full of batteries by my side.


After seeing high-rises ripped apart because of faulty building materials, I decided to live only in earthquake resistant buildings.


After experiencing our water line broken and the lack of bottled water available, I decided to keep extra bottled water and pre-moistened towelettes on hand at all times.


After grieving with friends over the injuries sustained by their families, I decided to pack a first aid kit with emergency supplies that I could grab in case of sudden evacuation.


You see, after feeling the floor underneath me jump and jolt for a full 45 seconds, I understood that I could have been better prepared. For the rest of our time in Asia, there was never a time that my earthquake supply bag wasn’t ready. To this day, I still carry a penlight flashlight in my purse. 


Learning through experience is a great way to get ready. Yet, for over two thousand individuals in Taiwan that autumn, they didn’t have a second chance at being prepared. 


As we have been studying Ephesians 6:15 about the armor of preparation, we could easily assume that we need to pack our spiritual bag with items like the Word, prayer, patience and love. In a typical sermon, someone might even equate the Word to the flashlight, prayer to the batteries and so on. 


Yet, the more I dig into the verse, I just find that the spiritual emergency kit is way easier to pack than my earthquake bag was. Covering your feet with preparation is simply being ready to obey.


We are so concerned with what is right and what is wrong – what we should do or what we shouldn’t do. But, just consider how much easier it would be to prepare if we knew it was all about obeying Him. Whatever He says, we would just do it. We know far more than we obey anyway. How about just setting our mind to say “Yes”, when He calls?


I’m going to be thinking about that this week. I hope you will, too.