In his book A Crack in the Edge of the World, Simon Winchester writes of the small earthquake-prone town of Parkfield, California. Seeking to attract tourists, a hotel sign reads: “Sleep Here When It Happens.” A local restaurant menu features a large steak called “The Big One,” and desserts are called “Aftershocks.” But all humor aside, a real earthquake can be a terrifying experience. I know. I’ve lived through California earthquakes.

In the book of Acts, we read how God used an earthquake to open someone’s heart to the gospel. Having been falsely accused, Paul and Silas found themselves in jail at Philippi. Around midnight, an earthquake rumbled through the prison, opening the doors and loosing the prisoners’ chains. When the jailer learned that Paul and Silas had not tried to escape, he asked, “What must I do to be saved?” (16:30). Paul responded, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (v.31). That night the jailer and his family believed and were baptized. And it all started with an earthquake.

Sometimes life’s upsets can make people more open to the gospel. Do you know anyone who is going through a crisis? Prayerfully stay in contact with them, and be ready to share a sensitive word of witness.