Out of Devastation
I have very much enjoyed going through the book of Nehemiah and watching the restoration story unfold. It has been a great reminder to me that the broken, run down things in our world can be restored into things of beauty. Recently, I read another encouraging story that reveals our Heavenly Father’s heart to restore.
On May 15th, 1980, Mount St. Helen’s erupted. “The blast — the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic eruption in U.S. history — caused an avalanche that came crashing down onto Spirit Lake, displacing the water to such a degree that it produced huge waves that washed across the mountain landscape. The landslide raised the lakebed 200 feet. That landslide completely buried Spirit Lake” said University of Washington Tacoma’s Jim Gawel, who has spent the past decade studying the lake. Gawel goes on to say, “You basically buried all the old sediments, knocked down all the old trees and denuded the landscape. It seemed as if one of the region’s great natural landmarks — a lake by some accounts 4,000 years old — was dead and gone forever.”
Despite some of the bad reputation volcanoes have earned for producing destructive and deadly eruptions, these natural wonders do provide a wide range of benefits to the ecosystem. Jim Gawel goes on to say, “Volcanoes supply incredible amounts of nutrients to the surrounding soil, allowing a tremendous variety of plant life to grow. While many expected the hundreds of square miles of century-old forests surrounding Mount St. Helen’s to be destroyed by the eruption, we have seen them come back, in many ways richer and surprisingly different than before….out of the devastation has emerged a new richer and more active ecosystem than ever before.”
The story of Mount St. Helen’s is a story of what everyone once thought was dead coming back with great life! It is the story of our Heavenly Father literally bringing “beauty from the ashes…” (Isaiah 61:3).
Restoration is the heart of our Heavenly Father, and as Easter approaches it is good for us to prepare our hearts to celebrate a risen Jesus and acknowledge that we worship a Heavenly Father that brings the dead back to life.
The broken, lost, hurting, and those barely alive, all have hope when you come to understand the heart of our Heavenly Father. The ecosystem of creation, as well as the life of Jesus, speak these truths! We all have hope because our Heavenly Father is the Great Restorer!
Do you have a personal story of where “out of devastation has emerged a new richer and more active” life?
If you are looking to see even more of our Heavenly Father’s heart to restore, then I’d encourage you to read Isaiah 61.