I’m sitting here in my chair, wrapped up in my blanket and looking at the snow outside. We’ve already played in it a good deal (until we were numb) and I took the kids driving in the church parking lot to show them how a car behaves on ice and snow.
Ok….also because I love to drive on ice and snow. 🙂
It’s a great day. A wonderful day. My Microsoft 2010 Project class was cancelled. School is cancelled so all my crew is home. Church is cancelled tonight (can’t take the Pastor’s Kid out of me). And we are home, together, warm, listening to all kinds of music, eating homemade waffles and enjoying this rare day. I still have to work, but since I’m working from home, I’m right in the middle of all the action.
What I like most about the snow (besides driving in it) is it’s pristine whiteness. I’m always surprised at the first snowfall, at exactly how white snow is. Blinding white. I always carve out a place in the yard that no one is allowed to walk on so there is a section that remains “undamaged”.
Scripture doesn’t have much to say about snow, but what it does say is extremely important. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time in the book of Isaiah. It is here that we find this verse, in Isaiah 1:18:
I find this to be a very interesting verse. It seems like it would be something we would find in the New Testament, during or after Christ’s ministry. Instead, we find it in the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Israelites were very familiar with blood–the blood of sacrifices for their sins. And what can be more striking or contrasting than the whiteness of snow and the crimson of blood?
This verse starts with an invitation….”Come now, let us reason together”. God is inviting us to think alongside Him. To reason things out. To use our mind to picture this verse and its implications.
But what do we do with this verse personally? How do we reason it out?
Our sins are like scarlet. They are the complete opposite of the whiteness of snow God is saying. And not much can remove the color red once it gets on something white–like a piece of clothing. Red is a very staining color. And yet God says here that even though our sins are RED, they can become WHITE as snow. The only way this can happen is through the forgiveness of our sins by God. His forgiveness is so powerful, so complete, so wonderful that our red-stained actions and thoughts can be forgiven to the point that they are wiped clean like snow. How beautiful.
This morning while I was driving down HWY 17, I pointed out to the kids what the snow looks like after cars and sand trucks and plows have come through. It’s disgusting. It turns to a grey/brown/dirty color. It becomes nasty. No one would want to play in that snow.
Yet that is what I feel like when I fail God. When I sin, it’s as if the white pristine snow of my soul becomes like that dirty snow. And I’m ashamed. I don’t want God to see that. I don’t want anyone to see me in that condition. But there it is, piled up alongside the road for everyone to see. And that snow will never be white again–it will just melt away in a muddy mess.
But my God is a God of miracles. I don’t really know what I think about miracles, actually. But I do know that for Him to forgive my sin and turn it white as snow must be a miracle. No matter what kind of work or penance I do, my sins remain until I go to Him, repent of my sin (turn away from doing the sinful action or thought and express my contrite heart), and ask Him for forgiveness. At that point, my dirty, mushy, red, brown, ugly sin is washed until they are white as snow.
It’s a mystery, how this happens. I don’t know how. I know that it is through the blood of Christ shed for me and you on the cross that our sins are paid for. But the mechanics? I don’t know. I wish that I did. I want to understand. But for now, and possibly for eternity, I can not understand.
But I can be grateful. I can be oh, so very grateful. For I fail Him so often, and yet He is faithful and just to forgive my sins, just like it says in 1 John 1:9. So I will close with that verse, and as I look at the beautiful snow, I’ll be reminded today of just how much my God must love me to be willing to wash me white as snow.