Mount Saint Helens

mt st helens 1

An excerpt from Earth Psalms, available October 4:

I hope this book will encourage you to look at the world God created and search for the subtle messages that will expand your love for Him and your desire for a closer relationship with Him. So lean in, look more closely at the treasure trove, and seek Him. What lessons might God have embedded in the plants, animals, life cycles, and characteristics of His immense, complex, and marvelous creation?

Rick and I spent a week in Washington State recently, and one of the places we went to visit was Mount Saint Helens. The mountain Native Americans called Louwala-Clough, the “smoking mountain,” blew her top on May 18, 1980. I remember the news stories. Warning signs had started two months before and people were watching. Some even came in trailers hoping for a closer view. By the grace of God, only 57 lost their lives.

The eruption had the power of 400 tons of TNT, or the equivalent of 20 Hiroshima-size bombs. That energy blew 1,314 feet off the top. When the bulge that had grown for two months blew, superheated gases and magma brought a lateral explosion, sending a column 12 miles high and spreading tons of ash around the world. About 900,000 tons of ash were removed from Washington highways alone.

The blast knocked forests flat for 19 miles. Trees went down like toothpicks. Ash clogged the air, sewers, cars, shut down airports. Spirit Lake disappeared beneath a toxic flood of melted ice, snow, and volcanic gases and ash moving 90 mph down the mountain.

Scientists have always offered answers and predictions. They think they know it all, and God is nowhere to be found. The earth is ancient, they say. Places like the Grand Canyon took millions upon millions of years to be created. They said Spirit Lake would forever remain a toxic lake.

God must laugh at fools who deny any evidence that reveals His power and presence. The systems, the organization, the details, the amazing glory of His creation.

In a few hours, the eruption of Mount Saint Helens created a smaller grand canyon, complete with strata. Within days, ground squirrels reappeared, having survived beneath the ground. Within weeks, flowers bloomed on ashy slopes. Within three years, Spirit Lake had phytoplankton restoring oxygen levels. Frogs and salamanders returned; fish were reintroduced.

The wise and thinking scientists gather evidence, examine it without prejudice, and learn. The rest keep whistling theories into the wind.

Describe a place where you’ve been absolutely awed by God’s power.