Today David and I drove to the end of the Chain of Craters road on the Big Island of Hawaii. We then road bikes for four miles on a gravel road until that road was closed. At this point we parked the bikes and walked across lava to the viewing area to see where the lava flows into the ocean. After watching this for a while we hiked for several miles around the lava flow fields, found some steam vents and were fascinated with the different flow formations. It was harsh, hot, humid, and treacherous, and there were no bugs or birds or animals, no signs of life. It was completely exposed and so were we.
Like fire, lava is an awesome destructive force, very thorough and deliberate as it travels. A big surprise and delight for us today was looking into small cracks within the solid lava and finding small green ferns actually growing. Like this, the power of the Lord of Life is eternally more powerful than any destructive force of this broken world and of our broken lives.
Thinking about the lava flowing into the ocean made me think that the Lord is actually “re-purposing” a small aspect of His creation. One area is being destroyed and a new area is being formed. This is what He does in us through our brokenness.
We hiked back to the viewing area so we could watch the lava flowing into the ocean as the sun went down. The lava flow was about one mile away, but the darker the sky got, the brighter the light from the molten lava was. The lava contacting the cool ocean formed “clouds” of steam that could be seen from miles away. When we let the Lord have His way in us through brokenness, the Lord of Light becomes more and more visible in us.
After about seven hours of this adventure we were hot, sticky, tired, and sore, but humbled and awed. We are so glad we allowed ourselves this experience, as grueling as it was. We turned in the bikes, got in our air-conditioned car and drove back to the B&B in a rainstorm. He even refreshes us after taking us through the fire (or the lava).
Wow, Julie!! I can’t wait to get the new site finished so you can post pictures to go with your beautiful descriptions and insights. I’d love to see a picture of a fern growing in one of those cracks.