N THE MORNING THAT MOUNT ST. HELENS ERUPTED IN WASHINGTONstate, David Johnston was stationed alone at an observation point five miles from the mountain. Along with his fellow scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, he had studied the mountain for several weeks during the spring of 1980, watching for signs of an eruption. The men had taken precautions to stay out of harm’s way while struggling to convince authorities and locals of the seriousness of the threat. Yet on May 18, as the ground beneath
In his dying moments,
With a force equal to multiple atomic bombs, the eruption instantly vaporized nearly every life form within five miles. Avalanches, hurricane-force winds, and 800-degree heat advanced a dozen miles farther, leaving a tattered, lifeless landscape in their fan-shaped wake. Melted snow and eruption debris transformed nearby waterways into raging mudslides that swept away bridges, homes, and everything else in their paths. Ash grounded airplanes and shrouded much of eastern
Twenty-five years later,
Life is full of volcanoes, great and small. Some eruptions are self-ignited, while others are the result of the sinful world in which we live. Regardless, their effects can be devastating. For someone standing at ground zero, such as David Johnston, it is easy to give up hope. That, of course, is exactly what Satan wants us to do, but God has a different message for us: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken” (Isa. 54:10).
Surviving the eruption with our faith intact is only the beginning, though. In the aftermath, the scars that remain can leave us feeling more like an ugly pile of rocks than the soaring mountain peaks that God created us to be. But the Master of creation is also the Master of re-creation. To all those who have been burned by life’s volcanoes, He has promised “to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isa. 61:3, NKJV).*
Why not ask Him to help you start your own remarkable recovery today?
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
John Press writes from