I will praise thee, O Lord with my whole heart;
I will show forth all thy marvelous works. (Psalm 9:1, KJV)
On a recent weekend my family and I decided to drive to Mt. St. Helen. Usually, we would drive to Mt. Rainier, but had just been there a few weekends before. So Mt. St. Helen it was. I wasn’t sure what to expect after all the glory and awesomeness of Mt. Rainier. When I see it, it’s easy to thank God for it. How could a half-exploded, shorter volcano have the same affect? The first thing I learned this day was don’t ever sell God’s magnificence short.
As we drove to the mountain we could almost make ourselves believe that May 18, 1980 had never happened. Unlike Mt. Rainier, which dominates the skyline, Mt. St. Helen does not, at least not in the direction we were travelling. So except for a few barren spots, the devastation is not immediately obvious.
As we got closer, we began to see the damage caused by the eruption. This is where God’s subtle touches begin to appear, new forests with trees only 28 years old or less. This has a strange effect on me, when I realize these trees are younger than I am, younger than my grown children. I’m used to forests that are older than me by many years.
Further into the park, we saw the volcano and the mostly untouched devastation the eruption created. By the way, all part of God’s plan. We saw tree trunks lying on the ground, all pointing in the direction that the blast and the debris headed on that fateful day, grayed stumps where all those aged trees had proudly stood for years. Where a beautiful life-filled forest had once stood was now a landscape of hardened mud, ash and rock. However in the midst of what appears to be a barren landscape, upon closer observation, reveals rebirth. Trees and other plants buried under the ash have found their way through the layers and have begun to repopulate the blast zone. Stumps from the once majestic trees serve as fertile incubators for flowers and other plants. While wildlife that lived above ground was all but destroyed, animal life that was underground or under snow and ice survived and are rebuilding. Some species that lived there may never return, but new species are appearing, along with some of the original.
Although I never saw it before the eruption, I’m sure Mt. St. Helen was beautiful and something to thank God for. Now having seen the valley and mountain in its post-eruption state, I say it is even more beautiful than it was. God took the devastation and is creating something even more wonderful.
We humans are like Mt. St. Helen. When we die to ourselves and the world, God is left with a devastated landscape, a clean slate to create a rebirth dedicated to Him. When we live in this new life, share it with the world and thank God, we like the volcano, become glorious.
God has rebuilt, heaven waits. THANK YOU GOD.
Blessed Thanksgiving to all.