July 23, 2014

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me. Psalm 22:14

Firehole Lake Drive in Yellowstone National Park is back in business.

Perhaps you read or heard last week about the road “melting” (see a photo of it here). The problem? Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas caused thick oil to bubble to the surface, which then damaged the blacktop.

But temporary repairs have allowed the popular, scenic road—a looping drive that winds through an active thermal section—to reopen.

Not to worry, though. As a headline proclaims, “Yes, Yellowstone’s Roads Just Melted. No, There’s No Reason to Panic.” Yellowstone is an active volcano and one of the world’s largest calderas (a area formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption). It also has about 1,000-3,000 earthquakes annually, a result of the huge number of faults associated with the volcano. But most quakes aren’t felt, and they serve to maintain the hydrothermal activity the park is known for: it contains more geothermal features than anywhere else on earth, with over 300 geysers and 10,000 other thermal elements.

But a catastrophic eruption isn’t imminent, the park’s website notes: “Geologic activity at Yellowstone has remained relatively constant since earth scientists first started monitoring some 30 years ago…[I]t is very unlikely to occur in the next thousand or even 10,000 years.”

A glance at a newspaper, the Internet or television shows tensions and trouble bubbling over all around the world. Like David wrote in Psalm 22—and perhaps like you, too—my heart melts like wax when I hear and read the news. My natural tendency is to fear and panic. What next, I ask myself. How will these conflicts and tragedies work themselves out?

I have few answers but lots of unease.

Then I remember God’s promise in Isaiah 41:10 (one of many similar verses throughout Scripture): “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.” Just as God’s people did in the days of Jehoshaphat, I remind myself the only solution is to take my worry and “turn [my] attention to seek help from the Lord,” acknowledging that He alone is “ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations [and] power and might are in [His] hand…[that I] am powerless [and] do not know what to do, but [my] eyes are on [Him]” (2 Chronicles 20: 4, 6, 12).

I pray that in these days of global unrest—and also in your everyday life—you too will refuse to hit the panic button, but instead “cast your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

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