We just returned from a great trip to Italy. Four fifths of Italy is in hills or mountains. On August 24, 79AD Mt. Vesuvius erupted with 100 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic blast. An estimated 16,000 residents in Pompeii and Herculaneum were killed. These are pictures of Vesuvius and Pompeii from our trip.
Italy is home to Europe’s three active volcanoes, Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius. Vesuvius is considered the most dangerous in the world because of its explosive eruptions and the 3,000,000 residents in proximity.
We are going to Hawaii in January. Hawaii was formed by undersea volcanoes. Due to continuous eruptions, Hawaii is the only state to be increasing in land area.
In Genesis 1:9-12 God talked about creating these lands. “And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”
While God does not specifically say volcanoes in the Bible, he talks several times about smoking mountains, and in Micah 1:4 he says “The Mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope.”
We have all faced mountains in our lives; we’ve all walked through fiery times. Often, as we look back, we see these are the times of personal growth; times where we grow closer to God and the ones we love. These are often times we learn valuable lessons and grow stronger.
As you think about beautiful tropical paradise of Hawaii, remember it was formed and continues to grow through fiery, earth shaking events. Reflect on the beauty and blessings God gave you through those life-changing challenges you faced.