One of my favourite subjects at school was history. Especially the history of how real people lived. I avoided political history like the plague which was why I did not do A level history. However I did a degree in Combined Arts and this included social and economic history.
Studying history is important. It helps you work out why things are like they are today. History impacts our calendar think of Remembrance Sunday, remembering the fallen in two world wars and the many other wars since. History impacts our geography. Think of the war memorials whether in the form of statues of soldiers, village halls even hospitals erected in the 1920s.
There is also a more frightening aspect of this impact. There is the story of the flyover that collapsed in a Californian earthquake. One of the reasons why the ground was so unstable was that it had previously been built on. The houses had been knocked down long before and the land would have been stable enough to support the flyover in normal circumstances. In the extreme circumstances of an earthquake the history of the land was one of the factors in the collapse of this huge concrete structure.
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Impact of previous mining activity
In the area where my grandparents lived there had been a lot of coal mining. They thought that they had bought a house that was built on solid ground but it was not as solid as they thought. Further up the road there were houses that huge great cracks in them. Cracks that had grown until they were 4 inches wide and were many feet long. Yet by the time they moved closer to my parents towards the end of their life small cracks were starting to appear in their house. I have not been back their for over 30 years so I don’t know if any of those houses with those big cracks in them are still standing.
The thing about mine workings is that they are hidden. Yes there are maps of more modern ones. Mining though has been going on since Bronze age times. Lead, gold, copper, and coal have all been mined in the UK. Sometimes this activity has left huge holes in the ground. Finding where mining has gone on is not always easy and even if you know where there were mines it can still be hard to find where any holes might be.
The problem with mine workings is that the land moves unevenly. That is why the cracks appear. If one end of a house moves and the other end stays still the stress will eventually result in a crack. There are ways around this. There are special types of foundations that can resist this kind of movement in the land if you think that this land might be affected.
Why on earth think about this here?
How many times do we see something that looks good on the surface that has something hidden underneath it? There are things that have been presented well but all is not as it seems. We even have a habit of covering things up or putting up a front or a façade. There is a problem but even if we know it is there we don’t want others to see it.
Events in the past have a habit of catching up on us. Like the collapsing mine workings that are leaving the land above unstable the past influences the future and bring an uncertain future.
What has happened to us has made us what we are. We cannot build something that is strong and secure unless it has a secure foundation. All will take is an adverse event and the whole thing could come crashing down like the flyover did.
Thankfully God knows where the equivalent of mine workings are in our life. He also knows how to deal with them so that we get some benefit from them. The amazing thing is that he also uses these things as means of making us stronger and better able to do things for him than we would do otherwise.
The issue is as ever – will we work with Him to allow this to happen. Are we ones who expect help when the cracks appear but don’t work with Him to secure underlying issues? It is our choice we can leave the cracks, repair the cracks or ask God to deal with the problem that is creating the cracks.
I think that for many of us the question we need to take to God in prayer is “Is there anything that is the equivalent of these mine workings in my life?”
For some of us, it could be a family weakness that means we are more likely to fall into certain types of ungodly behaviour. This is something that God is perfectly capable of dealing with if we ask Him to do this for us. He is even able to stop that weakness being passed on down the generations if we actively help Him do this.
For some, it could be something that they have done or taken part in that they fear could catch up with them. Again the starting point is prayer. This time for strategies to overcome the issue in the here and now and for His help to make sure that we are still able to do what He has called us to do.
The brilliant thing is that there are a multitude of strategies and support systems that God has put in place to help people. For some, they will be able to follow the Holy Spirit in prayer. For others, He will guide them to read the right book or article. For some, it will be listening to the right talk either at a conference or church or even on streaming video. For some, it will be going to a healing retreat or a teaching weekend.
He will direct you to the right one for you all you need to do is ask for help and He will arrange for you to get it somehow. Of course, if He says go here or do that, if you are serious about getting help you had better go there or do that or nothing will happen. Umm there is there is the rub nothing will change unless we work with Him to make things change!