Winter Ponderings

Winter Ponderings

Psalm 51:7

“Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

                                                                                       Psalm 51:7 (NASB95)

Old man winter showed up this week, with a vengeance, in Northern Indiana and Southwest Lower Michigan. The artic blast and 5”- 6” of snow in mid-January were not enough, so, on Ground Hog Day, February 2,2022, we went from beautiful blues skies and 43* to blustery conditions with 3” of snow on the ground and more falling! The forecast on Thursday, the 3rd, was for an additional 10”-12” throughout the day. I went out three times of Thursday to shovel my deck, sidewalk and driveway. By the time I finally made it to the end of the driveway there was close to a foot of snow on the ground. By the time I had finished shoveling for the day, the snow had stopped…until Friday night and Saturday morning. I woke to 2” of fresh snow fall over night and the reason for this post.

While we only had 2” of fresh snow, my step-daughter and step-son woke up to 4” of fresh snow, and since they are the worship team and handle the A/V functions, we decided to keep everyone safe and at home and canceled our weekly service. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of the thoughts that came to mind as I was shoveling my way through Thursday. The first thought that came to mind was the absolute transformation of the area around our home. It began raining Wednesday night, before the snow began, and everything was wet and glistening in the streetlights. It also melted much of the snow from the previous storm, so there was plenty of grassy area and dead leaves that had fallen late to be seen – and to be quite honest, they were just plain ugly to look at. Dead leaves that have lost the colors of Fall and dormant grass are not a pretty sight!

Less than 12 hours later and a fresh blanket of new fallen snow had transformed the area around our home to a winter postcard setting. There was no street noise; there were no kids out waiting on school buses, for the schools had closed; there were no track sin the snow, so in the early morning quiet, it was quite beautiful. This led me to think about my transformation and John 15:16:

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”  

                                                                                      John 15:16 (NASB95) 

He didn’t have to choose me, but He did. I was busy chasing after dreams of the flesh – mostly material gain and buying into the lies of the enemy – but He saw something different in me, something deep down inside – something I couldn’t even see myself. He plucked me from the firebrands of hell and set me on the path He predestined for me from the foundation of the world. Which led me to think about the whiteness of my garments before the Father – pure as new fallen snow and the reason for the Psalm 51 passage – all because of the sacrifice Christ made for me, to bring me into the Kingdom of God as a full-fledged citizen and member of God’s family.

It was at this point that I was once again struck by the absolute beauty of winter. So often we spend too much time complaining about winter – I know, I’m one who complains, I just do not do well with the bitter cold – that we miss the beauty of winter. If you have never been outside during a heavy falling snow and experienced the silence that is so complete that the only thing you “hear” is the falling snow, you have no idea what you are missing! This brought a newness to Psalm 46:10:

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

                                                                                      Psalm 46:10 (NASB95)

Thursday morning was indeed still, and the Lord was exalted in the earth! His presence; His power; His mercy, grace and love surrounded me that morning, even as I shoveled the new fallen snow from my deck, sidewalk and driveway! Oh! Without a doubt I felt the burn of muscles that hadn’t been used in this way for a few months (I still feel a little of that burning this morning) but the presence of the Lord was overwhelming in the midst of this snowstorm. Winter is a time for things to rest and rejuvenate. Everything about winter screams for us to rest and rejuvenate – the early nightfall, the cold, the snow, all tend to drive us inside where we can find rest and rejuvenation. Oh, sure there are lots of fun things to do in the winter and that is part of the rejuvenation process – but do not neglect the rest and rejuvenation of your soul. Spend time reading the Word and talking with your heavenly Father in prayer!

I do still feel some of that muscle burn this morning, but it is a good burn for it reminds me of the time I had with the Lord Thursday morning as I shoveled. It actually set the tone for my devotional time after I finished each session shoveling. I was more attentive to hear what God was saying through His word and as I studied later in the day. All because of a snowstorm that blanketed our area with fresh snow, forcing me outside to see and experience the beauty of God’s creation in winter.

We do all things for the glory of God through Christ our Lord.

Amen and amen.

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