The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire.
– Deuteronomy 5:4
Our youngest son was married in a beautiful ceremony last weekend.
For us, it was the culmination of months of harried activity not only preparing for the wedding, but restoring our tired-looking yard for the rehearsal dinner.
We painted. We built decks. We tore out the old front steps and built a handcrafted log deck. Solar lights, fountain lights, plants, and decorative bark were strewn about with abandon. We shoveled so much red bark onto our place that our eldest son was sure our yard was visible from space.
Two events warned me that I was focusing too much on the externals. One was the night I cleaned the outdoor kitty kennel. It was nearly dark when I emptied the old litter into a trash bag. Then I grabbed a bucket and went into the unlit shed to get the fresh kitty litter. I picked up a bag in the dark and poured out what I thought would be about the right amount of litter. Without looking at it, I took it back to the litter box and poured the contents of the bucket into the box.
I had just filled the litter box with dry cat food.
The other and more disturbing clue was my increasing irritability, spilling over onto my family and culminating in the morning I bolted outside in my old white robe to chew out two hunters shooting at birds next to our back yard. I was so mad I didn’t even care how I looked or the fact that they were holding loaded guns.
I just erupted.
Volcanos blow when underground pressures build until magma and hot gasses escape through a fissure in the ground in an explosive burst of power. The result is spectacular—and often destructive. An active volcano gets attention, even if it’s just grumbling and blowing off steam.
When we erupt in anger, it briefly makes us feel better, but it hardly glorifies God.
Do life’s pressures have to consume us? Is it possible to learn how to give our internal pressures to God instead of venting to others? Can God transform our reactions to our circumstances, so what rises up in us is a holy fire? Is it possible be so filled with God’s Spirit that under pressure we overflow with generosity and grace?
I believe so. Are you under pressure? Praise Him. Fill the night sky with the power of His glory.
Be a volcano. The right kind.