Beauty from Brokenness in the Mountains

 Isaiah 61:1-3
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” 

It is both a privilege and a joy that I get to take people to see sights around Mount St Helens. The other day, I took a school group into the Lava Canyon. As the river cascades violently over a lava flow, from about 2,000 years ago, it makes a beautiful sight. Some of that ancient lava flow was washed away by mudflows from the eruptions of 1980. So the scenery – all of which is jaw- dropping – has been altered by geological events which took place in my lifetime. But when these things happened, I was thousands of miles away in another country on another continent. 

Earlier in the day, these school children were interviewing a friend of mine who lived through the eruption. His answers were interesting and informative. When he was asked about the sequence of events during the day, he recounted how he had been told that he had lost his house. His voice cracked and the tears came down his face. He quickly recovered his composure, but the point had been graphically made. This event had scarred the lives of real people, even those who follow God’s will, as my godly friend does. Through the genuine pain still felt nearly 40 years on, we see that God still makes beautiful things out of things that were once broken. And God makes beautiful people out of people who were broken and sinful when we repent and put our trust in Jesus Christ. 

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the beauty of Your creation. And thank You for keeping us through so many events, always being faithful. Amen. 

Author: Paul F. Taylor 

Ref: Austin, S. and Morris, J., Footprints in the Ash. 

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