Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Of volcanoes and other providences

This morning I read an excellent post over at The Blazing Center. Among other worthy things, Mark Altrogge says:
We have no idea of the thousands of times God has spared us from falling into the devil’s snares. Let’s spend a few minutes today thanking Jesus for his providence that hems and hedges us in and keeps us from the pit of destruction.

As I read this, I started wondering about God's providential act of saving me and my family from things that would harm or destroy us. Could I think of examples? Well, perhaps the most remarkable family story happened in the weeks and months prior to Dave and my wedding.

Dave was in graduate school at the University of Maryland, studying trace metals in gases coming out of volcanoes (really, people study such things...) and he was very excited about a trip with a colleague from the USGS. They were to visit the newly-erupting volcano, Mt. St. Helens, in Washington state. This was May of 1980, and the colleague was named David Johnston. If you do a quick google search of David Johnston and that date, you will find that David Johnston was the scientist across the valley when St. Helens erupted, and he had time to say, "Vancouver, this is it," before he was buried under tons of burning, hot debris. If Dave had been with him, he would have surely suffered the same fate. But at the last minute, the grant money that would fund Dave's trip along with David feel through. There was great disappointment and gnashing of teeth at the time the funding fell through. But later we saw how God had providentially protected Dave. And Dave was still with some of the first scientific teams to hit the ground after the eruption, in late June/early July of 1980. As a matter of fact, he arrived in Ohio for our wedding right after his time at Mt. St. Helens.

God is always good to us, though we don't always understand so clearly what God is doing. I have a friend here who is always saying, when plans fall through, "You never know what God is saving you from." And that includes powerful forces like erupting volcanoes as well as subtler ones.

So don't be discouraged, Gentle Reader, when your plans fall through, or you can't get a grip on why things are happening. We have a great God who is working a plan for the good of those who love Him, and for His glory!


Cindy Marsch said...

Great story, Chris, and a great reminder!

Randy Greenwald said...

Actually, it is not so much a surprise that people study such things. It is that they ENJOY studying such things! It could have been worse... he could have been studying Latin prepositions or something. ;-) (We love you, Ben.)

Oh, seriously, a great story, which I hope you don't mind but I pirated. I think more people need to read such reminders.

MagistraCarminum said...

Pirate away, Randy!

Mark Altrogge said...

Hey Chris,

What a great story of God's providence. Thanks for sharing it!