If there is one thing that will make you feel like you’re in the minority, it’s a love of snow.
Sunday, the snow started falling in our area and by early Monday morning there was 3-5 inches on the ground. I watched it from my living room window as fat flakes dropped heavily for a few hours, blanketing the ground with white. As I skimmed Facebook statuses, most of them said the same thing.
“I’m so tired of snow.”
“I hate snow.”
“Where is Spring?”
“It’s March. Why is it snowing?”
So, being the trouble-maker and pot-stirrer that I am, I had to chime in with my own status:
“You can complain if you want, but from where I sit the snow is beautiful.”
I understand the frustration, though. This has been an exceptionally snowy winter. Although we’ve had it better that most of the northeast, every eastern snowstorm this year has hit us with a wintry mix of ice and snow.
I am very lucky. When the weather is at its worst, I usually don’t have to go to work. School is cancelled, I get to stay home, as does my wife. But there are a lot of people (the majority, actually) who have no choice but to brave the icy/snowy roads to get to work on time.
So I understand the dislike of snow. But I have deep reasons for loving it so much, reasons that reach all the way back to childhood and even deeper into my gratitude for God’s grace and love.
When I was a kid, winter was my favorite season. Every chance I had I was outside in the snow, rolling in it, throwing snowballs, building snow forts. But my favorite winter activity was hiking through the woods with my grandfather. There is a stillness in the woods when the ground is covered with a blanket of snow. Even now, if school is canceled I bundle up and head into the woods for a few hours.
But mostly, it is these two verses that locks snow tightly in a spot in my heart:
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 NLT
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
A few years ago I went with a friend to his camp in Pocahontas County, WV. We were spending a November weekend relaxing, fishing, and hiking the Monongahela National Forest. Saturday afternoon, temperatures were in the 60’s. Sunday morning, the ground was covered with about two inches of snow. My friend decided (since were were missing church) to have a morning devotional and prayer service right there at the camp. I don’t remember what the devotional was about, but I remember one small bit of my buddy’s prayer:
“Lord, let’s not miss the symbolism of the snow you put on the ground to what your blood did for our heart, when you washed our sins away and made us white as snow.”
I thank that friend. For choosing the right words at the right time. For having a knowledge of God’s Word and the wisdom to know when to use it. I spent the rest of that day just paying attention to the pure whiteness of the snow on the ground and thinking about the blemishes and scars that were on my heart before I met Jesus. And once I accepted Jesus, according to His Word, I am washed whiter than snow.
Or, as another Psalm put it, my sins are separated as far as the East is from the West. Geographical fact: East will never touch West. You cannot travel East and eventually reach West.
No matter what I have done, the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to wash my sins and make me whiter than snow. To separate my sins as far from me as the East is from the West.
I love snow because of what it symbolizes. I look forward to winter because I know that once again the ground is going to be covered with snow.
I look forward to the reminder that my Heavenly Father loves me enough to wash my sins and make my heart white as snow.