Right before 2016, the Lord gave me a picture of a volcano with billowing smoke.  I drew the volcano with a ridge line of lava flowing from the top of the mountain.  It flowed down and then became a wider flow, changing into a river.  The picture developed for several months and became one of the most detailed drawings I’ve ever drawn.  It was a lot of fun as I asked the Lord what to draw next.  I added in streams flowing in the valleys from the various rocky ranges.  My last image was a tree that came from the flowing river.  I knew in my spirit that the river was to transform into a tree and then as I drew the tree, the branches stretched out and amazingly connected back to the smoke, which also look like tree leaves. 

After I initially drew the smoke and volcano, I began to ask God for the meaning.  It seemed a little bleak and daunting at first.  While I prayed I felt the Lord say that sometimes when we’re in a difficult situation,  we feel like we’re about to explode or blow up.  There’s pressure all around us and it seems inevitable.  However, God said to not worry, but to trust in Him.  The mountain (volcano) will not blow up. 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  It’s reassuring and comforting knowing that God has everything under control.  He even told me that the smoke was just smoke and nothing more.  I didn’t need to focus on the smoke (problems in my life) but to focus on Him.

At the time I was working on Watershed, my pastor had an important word for the year and for the people in our church.  He said it was a watershed year; there would be significant decisions made and times in people’s lives where their life flowed a certain/different direction.  Watershed, according to the online dictionary, means “an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers or seas” and “an event marking a turning point in a course of action.”  I think my pastor was right, because that year people made decisions that changed their direction and had significant impacts on their lives.

Speaking of significant impacts, I realized during the time I was drawing Watershed, I had drawn a ridge-line and it was actually a watershed along the mountain top of the volcano.  I was really excited because I had that prophetic picture before my pastor shared his word on watershed.  Also, I was personally impacted that Spring at work with some trying times.  Through Watershed the Lord was reminding me to not focus on the smoke (the trials or anyone) but to focus on Him.  He was more than faithful during those times at my work and quite literally transformed (like the volcanic lava into a river into a tree) a situation that felt hopeless and very stressful into a remarkably peaceful and blessed outcome.  God was very faithful and I’m so thankful He came to my rescue and changed the course of my life to where it flowed into blessing and away from pain and destruction.  My mountain did not blow up; my life was held together by my Maker.

God doesn’t want us to focus on the smoke.  He wants us to look to Him and understand that our lives will not be destroyed by anything or anyone.  Our trials are only light and momentary.  God is in control and we are like mighty oaks of righteousness, planted by streams of living water.  As we trust in Him our lives are transformed and our hope is made secure. 

“He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains…May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works – he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.” – Psalm 104:10; 31-32

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” – Isaiah 43:19