First, WOW. We had to drive down to Kirkcaldy this morning. There seems to be more damage in Fife, more trees down, than from all those bad storms of 2011 combined. Amazing. There are four very large trees down around our church hall, and access to our car park is impossible. The BBC has some pictures, for those not in Scotland’s central belt. Usually in collisions between a vehicle and a bus shelter, the vehicle was moving, but not yesterday.
Second, kudos to Fife Council for getting the roads clear. As you drive along, in many places you can see where trees were across the road, and they’ve already cut the part that was blocking the road away. The crews have been working in horrible (and at times very dangerous) conditions. There are many times when I’m not thrilled with Fife Council, but we as Christians should be at the front of the queue when it comes to saying, “Thank you for a job well done.”
Third, since I’ve been writing / thinking about the doctrine of the preservation of Scripture, Isaiah 40 / I Peter 1 came to mind. Those passages talk about the temporary nature of our existence on this earth, comparing us to the flowers of the field that last only one day. By contrast, the Word of our God stands forever.
Yesterday, many trees that had stood for years and years came down. Buildings that were thought to be secure lost chimneys, masonry, roofs. Part of our fence was trying to be a gate after the posts broke (our neighbour’s fence just decided to lie down for a while to get out of the wind). Some large trees were uprooted — others simply snapped off.
All those things lasted a lot longer than the flowers of the field — but they are still gone today. Broken, damaged, destroyed by the awesome power of a wind unleashed by our God, a God who can send the wind, or stop it. We see the effects of the wind and are amazed by its power, but it is a puny thing to the God who made everything.
That is the God whose power guarantees that His Word will stand forever. His power guarantees that I am His, and secure in His hand (John 10:27-29). It is His power that stands behind this promise: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
When “nature” throws an amazing and powerful storm at us, we should not fear. We should rejoice that the God who rules the wind and the waves is our God. When we see great demonstrations of power, it should comfort and reassure us, for the God who rules every power that we see has promised to uphold us.