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  • Writer's picturekimstanfield

The Promise of Potential

The other day I was looking through my social media and the picture of all these holes in the ground came up and I was rather curious so decided to take a closer look!

Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa (near the Sahara Desert) I discovered are mainly known for their beaches, but little is known for its unique vineyards. There are 300 volcanoes on the Island of Lanzarote and the eruptions over time have made the land extremely fertile for the cultivation of the vine. The grape saplings are planted specifically in ditches dug up to several meters wide: in this way the roots can reach the fertile layer of the soil and the humidity of the grapes is preserved.

Armed with pickaxes and dynamite, the farmers broke through the thick layer of surface lava, which in many cases is more than three meters wide, until they reached the fertile arable land. In this way they created the inverted cone-shaped holes that characterize the landscape. In each hole they planted from one to three sapling vines. To compensate for the lack of water, the soil is covered with a layer of picón, lava stones similar to black gravel, which retains the humidity that arrives from the ocean at night, gradually releasing it during the day. In order to protect the vines from strong winds, dry stone walls are erected in a semi-circular shape about 60 cm high.

(info from social media post)

In Lanzarote, the Cuervo Volcano … was the first volcano that was formed from the eruption in 1730… Just a 5-minute ride by car from the Cuervo Volcano, you can find the best volcanic wine of Lanzarote… Lanzarote’s award-winning wine owes its success to the eruption and the volcanic ash, picón.

What blows me away by the above social media article is the extreme way they have gone over and above to continue utilizing the land beneath them due to its great fertile properties. BUT in the process who in the natural would look at a barren lava scared waste land and say – ‘Gee I can’t see anything here; think I might break my back and hack thru three meters of rock-hard cold lava and search for possible potential here to grow something!!!!’

In all I have gone thru personally over the years, it’s becoming very clear that Jesus has possibly said that about me on many occasions as I know He has time and time again reminded me how much He loves and cares for me.Just now, one moment springs to mind when God was doing his best to nudge me closer … Many years ago my husband and I were running a ministry day event for those across our city and someone I did not know came up and shared with me that the Lord was showing them a picture of me as a rose that was currently hard as rock and the Lord wanted me to know that with Him it could again become the flexible and fragrant rose, He knew it to be.

Psalm 33:18, NIV But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

2 Chronicles 16:9a, NLT The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

There are three basic types of lava/magma: basaltic, andesitic, and rhyolitic, each of which has a different mineral composition. All types of lava/magma have a significant percentage of silicon dioxide. Basaltic lava/magma is high in iron, magnesium, and calcium but low in potassium and sodium. It ranges in temperature from about 1000oC to 1200oC (1832oF to 2192oF). Andesitic lava/magma has moderate amounts of these minerals, with a temperature range from about 800oC to 1000oC (1472oF to 1832oF). Rhyolitic lava/magma is high in potassium and sodium but low in iron, magnesium, and calcium. It occurs in the temperature range of about 650oC to 800oC (1202oF to 1472oF). Both the temperature and mineral content of lava/magma affect how easily it flows.

‘Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner’. – 1 Peter 4: 12-13 MSG

‘Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you (that is, to test the quality of your faith), as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory (filled with His radiance and splendor) is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy.’ – 1 Peter 4:12-13 AMP

As with the above scripture if we see the ‘lava/magma season’ being poured out on us as a difficult and hard to bear apocalypse, we also need to consider it a necessary process to what or could be cultivated deep down within us! We then need to be more willing to embrace these seasons we go through, always with the focus of Jesus – as He will always, I believe be ‘Another in the fire’ with us to encourage and get us to come through.

Basaltic – hard, dense, dark igneous rock.. often having a glassy appearance (a kind of hard unglazed pottery)

Basalt is mainly used for structural building materials such as bricks, tiles, foundations and sculptures, as well as within stonewalls for thermal purposes and rail tracks

John 3:16, ESV “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (God Embraces us by sending Jesus!)

Andesitic – (Andesite) grey, fine grained volcanic rock

Uses of Andesite Rock

· It finds its chief uses in the construction and road-making industries for making roadbeds. It is used as a filler or sometimes added as a constituent to various compounds.

· It is used in making statues and monuments. Besides this, it is used in designing landscapes and gardens.

· Its resistance to slip makes it very apt to be used in making tiles.

Ephesians 6:13 "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Rhyolitic – very acid volcanic rock that is the lava form of granite, usually exhibiting flow lines

Uses of Rhyolitic Rock

· Decorative Aggregates, Homes, Hotels, Interior Decoration, Kitchens

· As Building Stone, As Facing Stone, Paving Stone, Office Buildings

· Arrowheads, As Dimension Stone, Building houses or walls,

· Construction Aggregate, Cutting Tool, for Road Aggregate, Knives

· Artifacts

· Gemstone, Laboratory bench tops, Jewellery

Proverbs 3:15

She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.

Pumice which is also a volcanic product, we use for cleaning and scrubbing comes from Andesitic and Rhyolitic – ‘..let us cleanse ourselves.. perfecting holiness in .. God’ – 2 Cor 7:1

As with each type of lava/magma above, we benefit from the process in remarkable ways. I do believe that my Heavenly Father turns everything around for His and our good in the life circumstances we all travers. So how easily or well do we ‘flow’ when in our ‘lave/magma season’ of life? Are we acidic (Rhyolitic) in the process? God is encouraging us to still lovingly show His glory and grace to others so that we may show ourselves to be the ‘gem’ he created us to be!

I was listening to Priscilla Shirer who simplified the above for me – ‘Our Mess Becomes a Message

In my current season I am doing all I can to allow God to work on me so that I too can be a better end product that will be usable by my Heavenly Father for others around me.



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