A beautiful white blanket of fresh snow fell last night—which means there was a collective GROANING among the human population. It’s actually audible if you go outside—what sounds like wind, is actually people bemoaning the storm all over the North-East.
People think I’m nuts—but I really do like the snow. Other than the timing being bad for church this weekend, and having to shovel it, there’s a lot of reasons to reconsider the “love-hate” relationship we have with this form of fluffy precipitation.
God has a lot to say about snow—and He uses it in many ways that help us understand His heart. Let’s take a closer look:
1. God Sends It—Think about this phrase, “Be thou upon the earth…” in Job 37:6 “For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.” Pretty cool. When I look out my window I think, “Wow… God told that to be there!” Who am I to complain about it. It’s just one of the many ways God says, “Here I am, if you want to find me!”
2. It Reveals God’s power—When God reminds Job of His infinite greatness and power, He calls snow a treasure—infinite and impossible for our human minds to understand.
“Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22-23)
We might not be aware of the intricate design and miraculous nature of every flake if it weren’t for Wilson “Snowflake” Bently, who began the impossible pursuit of photographing snowflakes in the late 1800’s. He succeeded, and in his lifetime produced more than 5,000 photographs of the microscopic complexity of these “miracles of beauty” as he called them. Each one is a fleeting declaration of God’s infinite creative brilliance and power.
3. It Pictures Grace—When God wants me to understand how He sees me, after Jesus saved me from sin, He says, “Look at the snow! That’s how I see you! WOW! “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7)
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
4. It’s a Gift from God—Last night I took a walk in the snow. The vast quiet, the immense white blanket brings a tranquility that is unparalleled. There’s no denying snow is beautiful! It’s mysterious and amazing in innumerable ways. Looking at the snow fall, and the beauty it creates enlarges our admiration and awe of God’s creative power and personal delight.
“He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.” (Psalms 147:16)
5. It is God’s Provision for Us—God uses snow to bring forth fruit and harvest. It’s a picture of His provision for us. The same God who sends snow can send whatever you need—in as great abundance! If He has no problem with creating several billion microscopic, miraculous flakes and telling them where to do, He can handle whatever you need!
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:” (Isaiah 55:10)
6. It Requires Preparation—It only took me one storm to learn this. Stock up! Batteries, bread, firewood, other necessities, and maybe a couple good games or movies too! Snow requires us to plan ahead a little, and then rest! It’s a picture of God’s natural design of life’s rhythms—exert, restore, exhale, inhale. Snow calls us to “get ready” and then “rest!”
“She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.” (Proverbs 31:21)
7. It Pictures Jesus—Again, when Jesus describes Himself He says, “Have you ever seen snow? White like that—even whiter!” Take a look outside, let your mind wander to a not so far off moment when you will see Him, and by His own description of Himself, there’s a connection…
“His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;” (Revelation 1:14)
8. It Halts Busyness—It brings with it a providentially forced PAUSE to all of life! Snow storms, to me, are like God reaching out of Heaven, interrupting my busy life, wrapping me up in a white blanket, and bringing me into a warm respite with Him where I have no choice but to be still and wait. Like so many of His providential decisions, I can but accept it, surrender to it—yield to His refreshing will. For this reason, snow storms are a relief—a welcomed friend with good news! (When you read the verse below, think of a snow cone on a hot summer day—that’s the picture.)
“As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.” Proverbs 25:13
As a friend wrote to me last night, “We miss snow on July afternoons, and will even pay $2 for a cup of snow. In December we pay somebody to push it out of our way! The amazing thing about snow (and money) is the Lord loves to show us just how much of it He can produce!”
9. It Helps in a Fight—In the verse below, Benaiah found himself in the worst kind of situation. On a snowy day, he and a lion stumbled into the same pit. Imagine! Could things be any worse than being in a pit with a lion on a snowy day?! I imagine they were both unsuspecting, hungry, and determined to survive this unlikely predicament.
“And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:” (2 Samuel 23:20)
Last night I trudged through twelve inches of snow, on a hill just to imagine fighting a lion in these conditions. The lion had a huge advantage in the snow. But Benaiah didn’t care about odds. He trusted God, and God used Him to do the unthinkable—defeat the lion against impossible odds. How cool!
Which is why snow helps in a fight. Whatever brings me to the end of my strength, helps me rest fully upon His! Sometimes God sends the snow just to “tip the scales” in His favor!
10. It Eventually Melts—What begins as beautiful eventually becomes brutal. It’s icy, messy, slushy, slippery and even treacherous. Like frozen buds at the tip of every tree branch, Winter holds possibility hostage. But not forever.
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:” Isaiah 55:10
“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5
Whatever icy trial gips your life—it will not last forever. Spring is coming! The melt will happen, and then the frost will finally bring forth fruit! Count on it!
So accept the snow as a gift from Him. It’s His permission to catch your breath, savor Him, cherish your family, make some memories (like hot chocolate and a warm fire), and still your heart. Maybe, like me, you have hard time being still. Snow is a gift from God, giving us permission to be still.
I need snow. Honestly, you do too. So if you’re frustrated that God interrupted your plans this week—take a second look.
Maybe His interruption was a gift you really needed!