When Your Life Is Devastated
Yesterday our family drove to Mount St. Helens, the famous volcano in Washington state that erupted in 1980.
The eruption enacted complete devastation in the blast area. It “blew down so many trees that the toll was calculated at 4 billion board feet, the amount of lumber to build 300,000 two-bedroom homes.” The blast zone was covered in a layer of between 6 and 15 inches of pumice ash. Outside the blast area, volcanic dust layered the ground for hundreds of miles. Almost a third of the mountain was blown clean off the top, crops were ruined, and water systems were clogged and damaged.
Scientists predicted long-term land barrenness, and that ecological recovery would take decades or longer.
But a funny thing happened.
Here’s our family (and my visiting mother-in-law) in front of Mount St. Helens yesterday (yes, the crater part is covered in clouds and you can’t really see it… sorry!).
And today I’m just sitting here thinking…
That is so much like life.
18 months ago, when my husband unexpectedly, publicly, lost his job in our hometown church community in Texas, we experienced an eruption in our lives that looked like it would be utter devastation of all that we knew and loved.
And yet, here we are.
- Living in Washington state.
- Continuing to grow– personally, professionally, spiritually.
- Blessed to be part of a thriving ministry
- Surrounded by a growing church full of people–friends– that we love.
- With a new little guy who, in February, joined us for the ride of life.
In case you need a Friday dose of cuteness, here he is:
God REALLY CAN make beauty from ashes.
He did it in the physical eruption of Mount St. Helens. He’s done it in the hard-hitting emotional life eruption we experienced 18 months ago.
And He can do it in whatever you’re currently facing.
If your life is seemingly devastated, don’t despair!
The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.
And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the Lord
to glorify Him.
No matter how bad it looks, and no matter what the experts may be telling you, there is new growth yet to come. God has a good plan. He can bring life where there appears to be only death and hopelessness.
Hang on and don’t lose hope!
Lean in to the One who brings beauty from ashes.
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