Volcanoes are like Earth's geological architects; their explosive force causes mountains and craters to form, and rivers of lava spread, causing bleak and desolate landscapes.
We usually associate volcanoes with chaos and destruction, but it's in their wake, as time passes, that the other side of a volcano is revealed. As the elements break down the volcanic rock's nutrients are released from the stony rubble, creating remarkably fertile soil that supports new flourishing and beautiful landscapes.
Take, for example, Hawaii, a holiday destination that many dream of visiting. It is essentially the result of a series of explosions and rivers of lava that have cooled. These formed numerous islands which now overflow with lush vegetation and wildlife, surrounded by the idyllic beaches and lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean.
What was once a place of chaos is now a beautiful paradise and a holiday playground for people worldwide. The volcanic eruption may have changed everything momentarily, leaving destruction and pain in its path, but it was not forever. Once things cooled and settled, the rubble broke down, and a new and beautiful place burst forth.
The path of a volcano is a powerful illustration of how after chaos and pain, healing and recovery happens as things cool down, settle, and are broken down so that something fertile and life-giving can grow.
We often think that the places in our lives where dreams are realised, and everything is beautiful cannot have ever had anything go wrong. But perhaps some of the most secure, flourishing places in our lives are also where we have previously felt the impact of an explosion and experienced the hot lava of disappointment and loss flow.
Beauty and blessing come when we choose to let go of the past, ask Jesus to heal us, and determine to outgrow the season of pain and become richer, deeper people for our experiences.
I encourage you today not to allow any explosions or the hot lava of some of life's circumstances to deceive you into thinking things can never be what you are believing and hoping for. Your life can be full of peace, joy and goodness. Let the dust settle, the lava cool, and invite the gentle hand of Jesus to break down the rocks and debris in your life so that what once was a place of chaos and destruction can become a place where something beautiful can be built. (Romans 8:28 NIV)
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." "He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." "For I am the Lord who heals you." "I will give you back your health and heal your wounds" (Psalm 34:19)
"He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV)
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Matthew 7:24)
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are always with me and that you promise to make all things work out for my good. Thank you for making everything beautiful in its time and that you are both the healer and restorer. In Jesus name Amen.