What a beautiful time this is, especially for my friends in the North and Midwest who have recently had some very pretty snowfalls! I could wish for you that “all your Christmases be white,” as the song says. Why? Certainly not because of the increased hazards of driving in it, nor the dropping temperatures that make it possible for the precipitation to turn into six-sided crystals, clustering together in fabulous patterns that happen to be very slippery. It’s just, well, pretty!
What a joy to see my friends sending or posting pictures of snow near their homes. It lifts our spirits! Last year’s “tender Tennessee Christmas” sported a light dusting of snow, which we will miss this year.
One reason that we love this phenomenon called snow is that it covers the ugliness of the dormant plants, and the otherwise lonely look of the garden. Even the most mundane fencepost or mailbox looks magical when it’s covered with this white, pure, beautiful substance.
And the trees! It dresses up the bare ones, and makes the evergreens simply splendid! It takes my breath away every time we have a fresh snow fall, and causes James 5:20 to come to mind. “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (NASB). Snow covers a multitude of all kinds of unpleasant sights. God’s forgiveness does the same!
Even snow’s approach is awe-inspiring. Whether it surprises us in the morning after a silent entrance at night, or by making its peaceful descent while we watch in wonder at the large, swirling flakes, it is always a thing of beauty and speaks peace into our hearts. It hushes the harsh noises in the outside world and sharpens the senses as we strain to listen to the unique micro-sounds in that new, reverent silence. Our Father can quiet our souls when nothing else can.
Other times, the debut of the snow may not be quite as peaceful. Driving in a snowstorm isn’t my favorite way to enjoy the snow, but our family manages to find a little fun in it. As the white flecks bombard the windshield and quickly spread outward, jokes abound. “We’re making the jump to light speed, Chewie!” Or, “Space. The final frontier.”
The whiteness of all the reflected light is another wonder that is welcome amidst the dark and drab winter. How can your spirits not be brighter when you need to shield your eyes against the unaccustomed light?
Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us a similar covering for our own ugliness? Our sins can leave hideous scars on our lives, just as dead weeds mar the decaying garden beds, or a forgotten garden hose hangs haphazardly on a bench. Our imperfect natures are not pretty. God covers that for us. He covers it from his own sight, first of all, by the redeeming blood of His Son. Then he covers up our mistakes and missteps by forgiving us, and allowing each day to be a new beginning for us. “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Our messy lives are cleaned up, as it were, and made beautiful by God’s amazing grace!
Have you messed up 2011? Left some things undone that should have been done? Let some relationships go bad? Ugly stuff happens. Don’t worry, it’s covered. Make sure you have been “buried with him,” as Colossians 2:12 describes.
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!