Orcadian Storms

As I write this, I am in a comfortable wooden cabin somewhere between Loch of Swannay and the North Sea, 496 miles north of Salem Chapel, on Orkney. The wind is beating against the walls and the rain is set to lash until the morning (sunrise is at 8.20, if the sun ever deigns to reach these parts). Inside, we are dry and warm, sitting by the fire. I understand that we are surrounded by wonderful scenery, but the far north’s thick, nocturnal darkness currently renders this a statement of faith. When the laptop is put away, I shall again pore over Chad van Dixhoorn’s Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession. There is something rather nice about settling down with a good book during a bad storm. This is partly because we know that storms do not last, night times end at dawn and summers are expected before many months’ passing.

Coming to Orkney in February, one should expect poor weather; I do not write this blog to elicit sympathy. Wind and rain, sleet and hail come with the territory, and are all part of the experience. Just as Orcadians adapt to their isles’ intemperate climate, so even God’s redeemed people should expect the storms of life. As wise old Job observed in 5:7:

Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Be realistic. Living in a fallen world means we are born to strife and trouble. Those storms do not last any more than the one outside my cabin. The time is coming when He who stilled the storm will still the planet; He who calmed the sea will calm the nations. Storms are exhilarating, sometimes terrifying, but they do not last. Troubles, trials, persecutions and pains outlive their welcome, but never their allotted time.  

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Psalm 107:29

Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word. Psalm 148:8