The First Snowfall
We made it this far through winter without a snowfall – until early this morning. And let’s face it, while the rest of the country has already had its share of bad weather throughout the least several weeks – and many places have had unusual amounts of snow – we have been very fortunate. And even when it finally arrived, it was pitiful by snow standards. Barely an inch of the white stuff…
Earlier this week, Janet mentioned that snow was in the forecast and so I went to the gas station and filled a container with the fuel that I will need for the snow blower. In an odd sort of way, I am a little anxious to try it out. Last year after the end of the winter season, I noticed that a small leak in the blower didn’t get repaired last time it was in for an oil change. The mechanic was all too willing to take a look and it turned out that I needed a new carburetor. That service call having been completed, I am ready to try the new improved version of my machine. But today was not the day to take it for a test run. I barely needed a broom to clean the driveway, front steps and rear deck.
Back in January, 1967, things were much different when one of the biggest blizzards ever dropped several feet of snow on Chicago. Stores were closed, cars were abandoned on the roadways, people were walking to hospitals to get necessary care and everyone was helping one another – much different from what we see most of the time these days.
I was reminded that in Chicago, we had a number of customs such as “dibs.” That’s when you put lawn chairs, dining room tables, or anything else you can move – out into the street to protect the parking spot that you shoveled out for your car. It is a major problem if somebody comes by and takes the spot that you worked so hard to shovel out. In fact, I don’t know that any self respecting Chicagoan would dare park in anybody else’s “dibs” spot. And please don’t think I am kidding – snow removal is no small matter in the Windy City.
There are several dozen references to snow in the Bible. Most of them have to do with being washed clean of sin and becoming as white as snow. That certainly gives us a great word picture to imagine what it is like to be cleansed or to imagine God as holy and white as snow!
In other areas of the Scripture, the images of snow refer to physical places where snow resides. And in a strange exchange between God and Job, we actually learn that there are storehouses for snow and hail! Job had been questioning God and God finally had enough. He went on to ask Job a series of rhetorical questions that were impossible for Job to answer. In fact, God was furious with Job and some of the things God revealed to him were startling.
Our verse for tonight highlights the words of God as He is scolding Job. God asks Job, in Job 38:22 -25, “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm…” It must have been frightening for Job to have experienced God’s description of the weather and how He controls it.
My encouragement tonight is that the change of seasons always gives us a glimpse of the power of God – the rhythms of nature and how time marches on. My prayer is that the God of the universe, who created everything and loves us beyond words, will always give us a peek at the wonder and majesty of all that He has created. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…