What’s Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

18 Dec

OKMy last blog on QPQ was about personal earthquakes—a subject brought to you by the recent outbreak of earthquakes near my home in Edmond, Oklahoma. A few days after that blog post went live, we experienced our biggest earthquake of the year, which measured 4.5 on the Richter scale. It knocked my son’s collection of shot glasses off his shelf and sounded like a Mack truck had slammed into our house.

Everybody wants to know—why the earthquakes? Since my husband and I moved to Oklahoma in 1996, we’ve watched as our state has endured devastating tornados, hail storms, and blizzards. Was that not enough?

Geologists are asking the question, too, as are environmentalists. Much has been written about the possible connection between the earthquakes and the oil and gas drilling in Oklahoma, especially the controversial use of fracking. The USGS suggested these earthquakes are not naturally occurring. At the same time, however, the Oklahoma Geological Survey states on its site that:  “Without further study it is not possible to determine what is causing the earthquakes.”

Clear as mud, huh?

What is clear is the human desire to believe we are in control. See, if humans are the cause of the earthquakes, then humans can make them stop. And when we don’t make them stop, then we have someone to blame, in this case, the oil and gas industry. It does beg the question, though: What caused the thousands and thousands of earthquakes that rumbled around the globe before the invention of fracking?

It’s sort of like the Global Warming thing. What caused the first Ice Age? What caused the Little Ice Age in Europe, which peaked in the mid-1600s? What caused all the weather fluctuations around the globe before the burning of fossil fuels?

For that matter, what human activities cause volcanos and hurricanes and tornados? Is it possible that we humans aren’t the cause at all? Is it possible that…dare I say it…we’re not in control?

I know this offends the control freak in us. I would much rather believe I’m in control of my life, my family, my future. And the realization that I’m not is disconcerting until I remember, that though I am not in control, God is.

Isaiah 45:6-7 says: “That people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.”

God is in control. Good thing He loves us. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Whether the Oklahoma earthquakes are caused by human fracking or the natural movement of tectonic plates, God is in control, and He loves us. I rest in that, even when the ground rumbles beneath my feet.

~ Robin Patchen

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in devotion, Robin Patchen


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