Intro, Why I wrote these stories, and a list of all the stories

Read this to your kids.

Psalm 46:1–3 – Quake

Diana and Thema were sisters who liked to play on the grassy field near their home. Their home was a cottage that was near a cliff that overlooked a bay. The bay was beautiful, but the young ladies were forbidden from getting too close to the edge of the cliff. It was perilous.

Diana was the older and today she was teaching four-year-old Thema about the different kinds of plants and flowers near the cliff that overlooked the sea near their village.

“Why does the goat frown at us?” asked Thema, distracted from the plant that Diana was describing.
Diana frowned herself, slightly disappointed that Thema wasn’t totally focused on what she was saying. “There are no goats around right now – they are all at pasture.”

“No, the Rock Goat!” she said, pointing out across the bay. Diana chuckled. Months earlier, Thema had declared that the forty-foot rock formation high on the other side of the bay looked like the face of a goat. Diana had immediately seen the likeness and agreed. So that what their family had called it all summer.

But now in the cooler days of Autumn, Diana stood up and stared out across the bay. They were on a hill and she was able to see the waves crashing against the rocks at the foot of the cliff, a hundred feet below the cliff. The waves were big today.

“That’s how it’s looked for years – maybe he’s frustrated that he can’t sleep in our cozy home and has to just stand there in the rain.

She pointed out the waves to Diana, who agreed – yes, they were very big, and then she added “but they will never touch the Goat!”

“No, they won’t!”

And they walked down the hill away from the cliff and towards different plants.

A few minutes later, she was encouraging Thema to smell the pungent aroma of a tall plant with sharp leaves when the ground started shaking. They almost lost their balance.

It stopped, things were still and the two sisters looked at each other, stunned and relieved that the tremors hadn’t lasted long. Diana saw confusion on Thema’s face. The older sister remembered tremors, but that was years ago, and Thema was an infant.

But then the ground started shaking again.
As the tremors grew, Diana saw Thema’s look of confusion change to fear and then terror.

“Why is the ground shaking?” she yelled. They both lost their balance and fell to the grass.

They both screamed as the trees began to fall. And they ran – towards home.

But not all the way. Thema didn’t like this, but Diana knew what to do. They must get to the refuge. They must get away from the cliff and onto the flat overlook rock.

Diana had been six when her father had taught her, “It has taken us centuries, but we’ve learned over the years that there is one safe place in an earthquake. Your great uncle died when a tree fell on him, but there are no trees near the flat rock. My grandmother’s sister died young when she was thrown from a cliff, but the flat rock is some distance from the sea. “

It wasn’t far – a five minutes’ walk from the cottage. And it would be a shorter trek, since they were running. But they kept losing their footing. And sometimes Thema would stop in horror at what she was seeing and hearing. This was reasonable – she was only four and there was great noise in the destruction and debris and dust flying.

At one point, a crack in the ground opened in front of them. But now they could see the flat rock – their end goal – and people standing on it, calling out to them.

Diana guided Thema around the opening and they ran up and in. Soon their uncle made their way back to them and picked up Thema and they, finally, made it to the flat rock.

There they found their parents. Their mother had been had been at the well and was relieved to see them. She cried as she embraced them. Their father had been shepherding the goats and he put his arms around his whole family.

There was another earth shake and they sat down. Diana could feel that the rock was indeed more stable. She looked around at their surroundings.

She looked towards the forest. Many trees were down.
She looked towards the sea. The water was rolling and crashing.
She looked across the bay. There was destruction happening on the cliffs.

“Diana, look!” her sister was saying, “Look at the Goat Rock!”
And as Diana looked, the frowning formation crumbled and fell in pieces into the water below. The waves churned at the impact of the tumbling boulders.

“My Daughters,” said Father, “We sit near destruction, but we do not need to be afraid. We are on the flat rock, which will stand through the ages. We are safe here.”

Diana could see that parts of their home were not intact any more. She didn’t know how long that would take to fix. She didn’t know the future. But she knew that they would be safe on this rock.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

In our God, we had a safe place that will keep us from falling, even though the mountains (and everything else) around us is crumbling.

What do you need an unshakable place for?

Click here to see more of these stories and why I wrote them.

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