I was flipping through CNN’s pictures of the week and two stood out to me. I have put them together above. The one is a shot of a volcano flowing hot in the night sky. It is a beautiful shot, an awe inspiring photograph. I have always been fascinated by volcanoes, because they are a force in nature that is unstoppable. Lava spewing from the molten layers beneath the earth, pouring down the mountain, consuming everything in its path. There is nothing that man can do to stop it.
The second picture was taken atop of the rotunda where Senator McCain’s casket lay in state. There has been a lot of talk about his life, his service, and his legacy. What you don’t hear anyone talk about is that one unmovable force of nature, death. Like the volcano it can not be stopped. No matter how hard man tries, it comes to us all and is inevitable. It doesn’t stand majestic, but in the silent reflection of what awaits us all. Even to a Christian, death is a mystery one would rather postpone. Life is precious, and more so appreciated in contrast to death.
Two unmovable forces of nature, yet they are but pebbles in a path before God. Psalm 104:31-33 says, “May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.” In the Old Testament there are descriptions of God touching the earth in judgement that sound like the eruption of a volcano. He alone can touch a mountain and set off a volcanic eruption. He has power over the elements of the earth because he created it.
Death is much the same. The curse brought about judgement and judgement death to all men, that all men die. But God in his infinite grace conquered sin and death when Jesus died and rose from the grave. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Death could not stop him and the grave could not hold him. God is not an unstopped force of nature. He stands outside of his creation, and is wholly unstoppable.
When the end comes, volcanos will disappear. When Christ returns death will be vanquished once and for all. But until that day we will stand in awe of an unstoppable God, and give him glory above all else. I’m just saying.