Friday, February 20, 2009

Lessons from a Volcano

This morning, my son gave a book talk at school. The kids were instructed to pick a book, read it through and create a project to go with it, either a model, poster, diarama, etc. and then present it to the class and parents. My son decided to do his on volcanos because...well, he's fascinated by natural disasters, frankly.

Last week, we finished his volcano book together and the Lord showed me something really cool. This book was good and I learned a lot of stuff about volcanos I certainly never knew before. One of volcanos they showed was Mount St. Helens in Washington. That's a picture of it above. Throughout the book, it talked about the volcano's power and showed picture after picture of the devastation left in the aftermath of an eruption (incl the one above). Beautiful, lush landscapes and thriving villages utterly destroyed and left a dead, ugly wasteland. Or are they?

According to the book, while volcanic eruptions can bring absolute devastation, they can also bring renewal. Because of the minerals and nutrients in the ash, not only does plant life grow back quickly, it grows back even stronger than before the eruption. As my son and I read that, I sensed the Lord saying to my heart that that's what He can do in a life entrusted to Him.

I can think of several examples right off the top of my head of people whose lives have felt or currently feel like a volcanic eruption, feeling devastated by life's circumstances. I recently spoke with a woman who's been there. I asked her what she was able to hold on to during that time. The first thing she said was the Word of God - her Bible, sometimes literally walking around clutching it. She then said that in spite of how terrible the circumstances were, she believes that because of what God did in her through those circumstances, today she is stronger and in a better place emotionally, spiritually, etc. than she ever was before it all began. I didn't say anything about the whole volcano thing but it was if the Lord was saying to me "See? I told you; this is what I do."

Most of us with a sound mind would never purposely seek out painful, life-altering experiences any more than we would purposely seek to suffer the devastation of a volcanic eruption (with the exception perhaps of those who study volcanoes - called 'Volcanologists' in case you wanted to know, though it sounds more like a Star Trek term to me).

As hard as it may be to swallow, it's no secret that God sometimes allows hard times to come into our lives that would like to shake us to our very foundation. But, like the volcano, if we entrust our lives and those hard times to our always faithful God, He promises to give us "beauty for ashes" Isaiah 61:3.

Be blessed.

1 comment:

calista said...

Great analogy Melanie. Thanks for sharing it with us. Isn't it great when gives ya a word when you weren't even lookin' for it? What an awesome God we serve!