Published March 10, 2015
Paul's Epistle & Shelia Shares
(Note: Shelia and I combine our columns this week because we both contributed to it.)
"Treasures In The Snow"
Have you seen any snow lately? Ugh. As I write this, our home area in Pennsylvania has just dug out from the biggest snowstorm of the season in March, no less. And I heard a news report the other day that 49 of the 50 states have snow on the ground! Yes, even Hawaii. Only Florida has none for now. Century-old low temperature records are falling faster than leaves on a windy autumn day.
Global warming, anyone?
Difficult as it may be, I like to see the positive side of things even snow. So I asked Shelia to ask some of her online friends to share the positive aspects of all of this snow. Here are a few of their responses:
- "I enjoy the beauty of the snow, the sparkling snow in the day and the bright nights when the moon is full." D. E.
- "Full moon on the snow tonight makes for a lovely time of prayer and fellowship with the Lord." S. S.
- "Late this afternoon I saw three youngsters walking on the road carrying shovels (we live in a horseshoe-shaped development) looking for people who might have needed their services." G. L.
- "Millard and I just worked with our neighbor across the street to open another neighbor's drive. Working together feels good and blesses those who can't do the job anymore themselves." P. G.
- "For me the blessing is that it has given me more home time to work on a musical and other songwriting endeavors!" K. G.
There's no question that snowstorms change our family routines. And this creates interesting opportunities.
- "The two winter storms that have come through our area over the past two weeks have caused us to slow down and enjoy some family time for several days. That has been a blessing." R. F.
- "I am just blessed to have been able to slow down and spend more time with my grandchildren! Big blessings! God is so good!" V. C.
- "My daughter's boyfriend was on his way over Sunday afternoon, and my husband mentioned it would be fun to have a snowball fight. We decided to hide and ambush him when he got there. We ended up having a great time together in spite of the bad weather." B. M.
- "We have enjoyed spending the snow days together. Family [is] a true blessing." T. H.
That reminds me of a time many years ago when our Sunday morning church was canceled due to snow. One of our sons who was then probably in elementary school decided we should have church anyway. So we set up a stand of some sort in our living room and he "conducted church" for the family. I recall that we sang some hymns and had a Scripture reading. I truly wish I had a video of the "sermon." Memories thanks to snow.
Snow does seem to bring out the best (and the worst) in people. Whichever you are prone to positivity or negativity is accentuated. But I prefer to look at the good side.
- You see neighbors you haven't talked with in months (maybe years) while you're out shoveling. (That happened to me.)
- You see people helping others shoveling, pushing stuck cars, pulling cars out of ditches, jump-starting stalled cars.
- You see people checking on the welfare of shut-ins, often braving the elements to take food and supplies to them.
Last week, Shelia noted for her online respondents, "I thought of the things that could have happened with the storm and didn't happen. It would be things such as your flight wasn't canceled or your car didn't go in the ditch or the locks on your car weren't frozen and you could get into your car. For me, staying overnight at the office for the last three nights [because of the bad roads, so I didn't have to travel] means I did get some things on my desk caught up and means I am looking forward to going home tomorrow evening."
A major snowfall reminds us as I'm sure the Lord knows we need to be reminded that we are individually absolutely, ultimately powerless over our surroundings, our environment, our "plans." There is no doubt in my mind that God hears a lot more prayers than usual when we're in the midst of a major snowstorm especially if travel or health issues are involved.
Duane Nicholson posted, "When events of weather arise that bring things to a halt in our world it should remind us that God is ultimately in charge. It always makes me be aware, as the iconic song of the ages proclaims, Oh Lord, How Great Thou Art!"
One more thing. God loves snow. He really does. It's mentioned more than two dozen times in the Bible. "He says to the snow, Fall on the earth'" (Job 37:6). Psalm 147:16 tells us that snow is "fulfilling His word." Snow is part of His plan, His creation.
As I looked out at the snow the other day, I was struck by how beautiful everything was with its covering of absolute whiteness. It was as if all of the dirt, filth and ugliness that had accumulated had been covered with a spotless robe of white.
And then it dawned on me. That is exactly what Christ has done for us.
The Psalmist cried out to God, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7). Isaiah quotes the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow..." (Isaiah 1:18).
Aren't you glad the Lord has covered the dirt, the filth, the blackness of our sins with the snow-like whiteness of His purity? Aren't you glad He's reserved for you a "robe of white," symbolizing that imputed purity, for the time of His return and for eternity?
I certainly am. And I think I'll look at snow a little differently now.
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
- Paul (and Shelia)
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