My husband and I are in Iceland after a two hour journey from Belfast International Airport. Brendan planned this trip back in July 2014. It is the fulfilment of a desire I have had for ten years. The first people we spoke to at the airport were two Irish women from Kilkenny who have been living here for twenty six years! It was good to meet them. History tells us that some Irish people settled in Iceland one thousand years ago. The Irish are still here!
I was just reading from Psalm 18. I read the following verses.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The sorrows of death entangled me; But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
Then at your command, O LORD, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. (Psalms 18:3-8, 15 NLT)
Back in May 2010 there was an eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. It disrupted travel in Europe for many weeks. I had been diagnosed with cancer the previous month. My daughter had booked for us to visit her and her husband in Switzerland some time before. We were planning to go even though I wasn’t well. Because of the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano our flight to Switzerland was cancelled. I was disappointed.
But I am not disappointed today. Psalm 12 v 13 says “A hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” My desire to come to Iceland is fulfilled.
I was reading through some brochures about Iceland after our arrival. It is known as the land of fire. Iceland has a high concentration of active volcanoes due to its location on the mid-Atlantic Ridge. One volcano erupted out of the sea and created new land. Last August another volcano
Bardarbunga, erupted with intermittent earthquakes. It continues to bubble up five months on, as the video from Sky news shows.
I am amazed when I read Psalm 18, particularly the words “The foundations of the mountain shook, the bottom of the sea could be seen, glowing coals blazed forth from him.” David, who wrote this Psalm, prophesied two and a half thousand years ago what is happening in Iceland today. I am reminded of my distress four years ago when the cords of death were entangling me and I called upon The Lord and he delivered me from death. He heard my prayer and and like David of old, he answered me. Alleluia.
My interest in visiting Iceland was inspired by Tim Severin’s book about a voyage that he travelled from Ireland, Scotland, Pharoe Islands, Iceland to Greenland. He followed what was thought to be the path St Brendan took many centuries before. My family visited the boat In which Tim travelled. It is preserved in Kerry, Ireland. It was built from wood and covered in seal skins, materials available to the early Celts.
I am happy to be here on this island of Iceland in 2015, mentioned so long ago in writings from St Brendan.
Shared from Sky News: Volcano Spectacularly Erupting Five Months On http://news.sky.com/story/1409583/volcano-spectacularly-erupting-five-months-on
I want to honor the Iceland people who live in an environment that many of us could not endure. They keep their hearts and land open to the nations who want to come and see the signs and wonders in their island; the Northern Lights, the turbulent lava in a live volcano, the glaciers and the warm geysers to mention a few.
It gives me more reason to Praise the Creator of all things.