“Enough of the white stuff.” Really!? I always like “one big snow” but also realize I don’t “have to” get out in the snow as some must do. A big snow is not a lot of extra work for me compared to the dairymen who need to plow open driveways for the milk trucks. Emergency and medical personnel need to be on the job. Business places need parking areas for their customers and employees. Road crews work long hours to keep the roads open and safe as possible in bad weather. Nevertheless, I am a “helpless romantic” who likes at least “one big snow.”
Maybe 24-30 inches of the “white stuff” at the beginning of February was enough for one winter. I shoveled our driveway out the “old fashioned way”—one shovel-full at a time. Sunday morning after the storm, we could not go anywhere; no option but to dig out. My heart turned to worship as I looked across the beauty of the snow-covered landscape. But now that “the big one” is over, we can move on to spring. Know what? I like spring even better than snow!
The Bible talks quite a bit about snow. I did a Gateway Bible search using “snow” as the reference word. I found some very instructive references to snow—references which should cause us to look carefully at the “attitude of our hearts” and the “content of our character.” For example—Proverbs 26:1-2: “Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.” Or Proverbs 25:13—this verse reminds us of “the blessing” a good, reliable employee is to his/her employer. “Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.”
Of even more significance are the references to “the white stuff” as it compares to the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. King David, when in repentance from his tragic sins of adultery and murder, cried out with a broken heart in Psalm 57:1–“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” The good news of the gospel of Christ is that God does cleanse a broken, wounded, sinful heart. My friend, Doug Burnette who began Onesimus Ministries in 1978, experienced “a clean heart.” He had a difficult childhood and found himself in deep trouble, sitting in a cell at CCP. Doug regularly attended the chapel services comparing what “one preacher” said on Tuesday with what “another preacher” said on Saturday. Thank God the two agreed with each other and said the same thing, thus offering him hope. One of the preachers said, “Doug, you don’t have to live like that.” God offers you forgiveness and grace to begin anew with a clean heart. Sounds like the Scripture in Isaiah 1:18 — “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” From childhood on up, Doug said he was plagued by nightmares and had difficulty sleeping. But the night after he finally gave up his own willful rebellion and surrendered his heart to the cleansing grace of Jesus, he awoke the next morning realizing he slept like a newborn baby. In a spiritual sense, Doug was just that—a newborn baby in Christ. The Scripture says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. II Corinthians 5:17-21.
Thank God the “word of the Lord” took root in Doug’s repentant heart and is bearing fruit even now. How I thank God for Doug and his wife, Pat!
One more reference to snow in Isaiah 55:10, 11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Good things are yet to come!
There is a wonderful gospel song I enjoy, “Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole; I want thee forever to live in my soul. Break down every idol, cast out every foe. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” Lord, make our hearts whiter than snow!