It was 5:36pm on March 27, 1964. Good Friday. At that moment, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake, the second largest ever recorded, struck the coast of Alaska near Anchorage.
The shaking lasted for four minutes. The geological disruption was huge and devastating. 131 people died as a result.
If an earthquake of that magnitude had struck Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, the number of lives lost would have likely been in the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.
This quake is a reminder that life can indeed turn upside down in the relative blink of an eye. It is naïve to think such an event could not happen again anywhere along the west coast of the United States.
Each geographic region on the planet faces similar catastrophic threats. The 2004 Christmas Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed over 250,000 people, is a case in point. Climate- and weather-related phenomena can bring immediate disruption of life and dreams.
We are all vulnerable to sickness and the frailties of our bodies. And this, of course, is in addition to the capability of humans to spread disease and do violent harm to each other.
This leads us to consider three important realities:
The first reality: Upside-down moments are not rare; actually, they are to be expected! This means the upside-down moments are in fact a significant part of the fabric of everyday life.
The second reality: God is in control of the upside-down events of your life. Stated another way, God’s idea of normal is much different than our idea of normal.
The third reality: God is in the middle of life’s upside-down moments. This means that you can know peace and be secure when they come.
The reason for our being stressed when life turns upside down is directly connected to our being falsely convinced that God must do what we think is best.
These three realities are examined in further detail, with application from Job 37, in chapter two of When Life Turns Upside Down by John A. Younts.