Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
I enjoy sitting inside on a cold winter day: sipping hot chocolate, reading a good book, and watching snow lazily float to the ground.
Unfortunately, what I enjoy doing only happens sometimes. Life is too busy. Though I might get snowed in, my computer and correspondence never stop. And so, I miss life’s simple pleasures, and another opportunity to reflect on God’s gracious ways slips by.
Instead of being a time of joy, snow becomes a drudge. Instead of reflecting on the wonder and mystery of the tiny crystals, I reflect on how my to-do list will be changed. Instead of pausing to consider the spiritual elements of snow-covered landscapes, I wonder how I can fit in snow removal.
This is how life often is. God presents us with an opportunity to slow down and reflect on his ways. In response, we work harder being focused on our busy schedules and seek to remove that which he sent to drag us back to him.
Instead of hunkering down, stifling groans when we think about the atrociously fluffy whiteness, maybe we should pause and allow the falling snow to draw our eyes upward.
While we might not like this symbol of winter and childhood innocence, God paints a vivid picture of his salvation every time he sends a snowstorm.
Winter starts brown and dirty. Death is everywhere, from trees, to grass, to flowers, to the raspberry bushes my brother gave me. Then, one morning, the ground shimmers as the sun peeks over the horizon. Death is covered. The brown turned white under clean, fluffy snow.
Yes, that snow will melt one day, revealing the deathly brown underneath. But, as the snow melts, necessary nutrients brought by that snow seep into the ground, providing new life.
That is what God does for us. Like freshly introduced winter, we are dead in our sin, destined to rot. But we have hope. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, all who believe in Jesus and his death have their sins covered, like snow covers the ground. And from that covering comes new life.
That is worth remembering.
So, next time snow comes, grab a cup of hot chocolate and instead of grumbling, let us reflect on God’s amazing grace.
Mark 6:34: “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”
Have you ever felt rushed? Hurry seems to be an epidemic in US culture. Everyone is rushing here and there. Trying to get lists done and appointments completed. Unfortunately, we pass on this syndrome to our children by encouraging them to participate in every activity. Soon, they are running around ragged, and we are running, trying to keep up.
I’m not pointing fingers. Goodness, I rush everywhere. I have my calendar planned out for the upcoming week, detailed down to fifteen-minute increments. I need to be this scheduled so that I can have time for my family in the middle of funerals, counseling, sermon preparation, community events, lunch meetings, etc.
So, yes, I am fully submerged in the “hurry” lifestyle.
Being busy is not a bad thing, necessarily. What is bad is when busyness, or hurry, takes over and we forget our real priorities.
There have been times when I have barreled through my to-do list, rushing from one event to another, and someone stepped into my schedule that I did not plan. Inside, I am frustrated because I have so much to do, grumbling because of the weight of “hurry.”
Then, I remember Mark 6:34 and become convicted.
Jesus was going through a busy time of ministry. He and the apostles were tired and were seeking some rest. On the way, he met a crowd of over 5000 people. He could have been irritated and frustrated because they were not in his appointment book. He could have snapped at them and told them to leave, to come back another day.
Instead of all those feelings, he had compassion for them. He realized that the people in front of him were more important than his schedule. He shared with them God’s love and God’s truth, in addition to feeding those 5000 with five loaves and two fish.
With Jesus as our example, we should embrace every opportunity to step away from our schedule and interact with people. Perhaps it means regularly going to church on Sunday. Perhaps it means chatting with the cashier or the bagger. Perhaps it is allowing time for important conversations with our children.
Whatever it is, may we slow down and have compassion.
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ