Anger & Mt. Krakatoa

Have you been so mad you thought you’d literally blow up?

I know I have. I have four kids constantly testing my boundaries so most days it's just a matter of time before I feel like I’m going to explode.

There is something about that feeling that is similar to the mechanics of a volcano. Pressure builds, and builds, and builds and then boom! A destructive force on par with a megaton bomb is unleashed on nature.

I was most reminded of this upon hearing of a famous volcano called Mt. Krakatoa. In 1883 this island volcano produced the most destructive natural explosion in modern history, it was something like 200 megatons of TNT or about 13,000 times the nuclear yield of the Little Boy bomb that devastated Hiroshima.


The devastation included the deaths of over 40,000 people, the thought to be loudest sound in modern history (heard over 3,000 miles away) and sent shockwaves that were recorded around the world. The blast destroyed 2/3 of the island.

Sometimes I wonder if Anger can be likened to the events that happened on Mt. Krakatoa that day. Explosive anger hurts people, is visible to the world and can yield a destructive force. How do you deal with anger? How do you release the tension?  Sometimes I release the tension well and sometimes I don’t. 

Well growing up I had a bit of an anger problem. There were lots of things in my life that hurt my feelings or made me angry and as a student in school I really didn’t know how to talk about my feelings in a healthy way.  Many times this resulted in me saying something mean or hurtful or sometimes both.

Luckily I had a few good teachers in school who really cared about me.   He’d bought me lunch and listened to my problems and I’d hang out with the other students in his class during lunch time and those kinds of things. 

Yet in my immaturity in a moment of anger I exploded and caused serious damage to that relationship.  In those moments I feel trapped.  Like I can’t escape.  The truth is I can.

When I experience an angry volcanic eruption all I can do is ask people for forgiveness and ask God for the help I need in order to change.  I need to learn from my experiences and mature.  The Bible teaches that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9).

When we seek the Him, I believe God can put out the fire of a volcano.  I believe God can heal the land from the destruction of molten lava.  I believe that God can restore relationships and ultimately help us deal with things that cause us to lose it.