My first reaction: "No way." Then, "It's true...and it's awful." A man asleep in the middle of the night. Suddenly, a sinkhole opens up beneath the house and literally sucks the man, the bed, the room in with it.
Now the home has been demolished, and the fate of nearby homes is uncertain. It seems the sinkhole is growing. The neighbors were given 30 minutes to grab what they could and evacuate.
Sinkholes seem to be a lot more common than we realize. Certain soil-rock-and-moisture combinations apparently can erode over time and then suddenly collapse beneath you. There's ground that looks like it's safe to build on, but one day it just caves in beneath you.
That's a feeling too many of us know all too well. "I thought this would support me. It just collapsed."
Beginning in the fall of 2008, so many people I know saw their financial security suddenly disappear into a sinkhole as the ground shifted overnight. A Wall Street veteran told me, "If you had asked any of us Christian guys here what we were trusting in, we would have said, 'In the Lord, of course.' Until we suddenly lost what we were really trusting in."
As they're saying on the news, sinkholes are all over the place. Yes, they are. The person who once said, "til death do us part" is suddenly gone. The children you lived for left the nest empty - or your heart broken.
The church or organization you did so much for let you down. The company you served for so long doesn't need you anymore. The friends you gave so much for moved on without you. The plans you made vanished with one visit to a doctor's office. The people you lived to please turned their backs on you.
So many sinkholes. Ground you build on that you can't depend on. Yesterday's dream - now today's nightmare.
The family who lost their home and their loved one in that sinkhole have found one consolation. The family Bible the demolition crew managed to retrieve. One family member stood in front of the rubble, just hugging that Bible for all she was worth.
That's the only ground I know that will never cave in beneath you. It's what Martin Luther was counting on when he stood against the mightiest religious forces of his day and insisted knowing God was by faith alone. As all other ground around him was collapsing, he stood firm on this Biblical bedrock: "Your Word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens" (Psalm 119:89).
Firm in the heavens. Truth you can stake your life on. A foundation that can never be shaken. It's where Paul told Timothy to plant his feet when it seems as if everyone - including God's people - are adrift. "But as for you, continue in what you have learned...you have known the Holy Scriptures...All Scripture is God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:14-16).
Sometimes, it means standing with a holy defiance of the culture, the crowd and the consensus, both feet firmly planted on God's Word. "God has spoken. That settles it."
Jesus told about two men - one whose house "collapsed" when the torrent came, one whose house "could not be shaken." The first built on "ground without a foundation." The other "dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock." The sinkable man, Jesus said, "hears My words and does not put them into practice." The unsinkable man "hears My words and puts them into practice" (Luke 6:47-49).
So sitting in church just soaking up Christian beliefs isn't enough to sustain you when your world's collapsing. Compartmentalized faith is collapsible faith. You have to do God's Word, not just know God's Word, daily letting what you read change your life. Then when it's all going down, you intuitively know where your Anchor is.
King David posed this question for a sinkhole moment: "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Good question. Here's the answer: "The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne" (Psalm 11:3-4).
When your world caves in, His Throne hasn't moved. His Word is unchanged. Your God still reigns.