As I wrote this, I glanced out my windows and see the snow continue to pile higher and higher. Coupled with the existing snow, flakes of white fall from a grey sky continuing to add more and more snow to our already snow-filled lives.
They’re calling it, the winter that keeps on giving. Not only have we had to endure record breaking temperatures, we’ve continued to experience a deluge of the white stuff. Just as we get ourselves shoveled out there is a fresh 2-4 inches of snow on the ground for us to attend to. It’s this time of year that we dream of warmer climes and an end to the frigid and bitter temperatures. And especially, an end to the snow.
You can always tell in a Northeastern winter when it occasionally warms. The other day, temperatures rose into the 30s and people were having their cars washed and we’re out without gloves on. These delusional actions are evidence of our delusional minds. We have grown so weary of winter, snow, and cold that we’re prepared to act like it’s not cold on our bare arms as we parade ourselves in short-sleeves.
It’s the time of year when we hear the most complaining; although shortly we’ll be complaining about the heat. And for all we complain about the cold and the snow, we fail to realize how vitally important both are for our little area of the world.
From a completely practical standpoint, the snow is necessary for our area agriculture. Farmers need their fields to be blanketed with snow, so that when it melts, the fields are properly irrigated and ready for planting and eventual harvesting. This bears on the economic aspects as well, for if there is little snow, and the fields are weak, then costs will rise for food. And while we may be complaining about heating our homes in the midst of this cold, we’ll be complaining even more if the price of our food rises due to a lack of snow.
The cold may be even trickier, yet there may be advantages to the cold weather. Simply put, they give us a better appreciation for when the brighter, warmer, spring days arrive, but my wife is also thrilled with the knowledge that a cold winter tends to keep the bug population down.
But at the core, winter, snow, and cold are given to us by God. Whether you believe it happens directly from His hand (Isaiah 55:10), or through providential means of the hydrologic cycle, the snow, winter, and cold are all the necessary part of how our world functions. And that means there’s something good about it. For me, it’s the imagery that the Bible makes about the contrast of colors between scarlet and white.
The Lord in Isaiah 1:18 tells us, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” The beauty in this picture is because of the utter contrast of red and white. Without a knowledge of snow, I could never grasp the full change that happens for those who worship God. Our sins are bright and noticeable. Imagine that blanket of snow outside, with a patch of red. It is bright and hard to hide. But the Bible tells us that God will make us like white snow, utterly pure in its beauty. Looking out my window at the increasing snow, I think to myself, that God because of the sacrifice of Jesus, has forgiven my sins and purified me and made me white like snow. Without that knowledge of snow and its pure beauty, I might be left to wonder what it truly means for God to change a heart and to turn us pure white.
So, while there are important reasons why cold and snow need to occur, at the core it is a beautiful picture of a transformed life and a transformed heart. Is there anything more pure and lovely and beautiful then untouched snow? I’m thankful for the snow falling today, covering over my prints, making the landscape new and pure and clean. It’s what all of us, can be.