Let It Snow…
I woke up this morning and during breakfast, much to my surprise, I looked out the window and saw the first snow of the season, at least the first one that I have seen. Now it wasn’t overly cold, and it was apparent that the snow wouldn’t last on the ground very long, but what started as a minor flurry soon became quite a snowy storm. It was beautiful. In fact, I was a little mesmerized by the whole thing.
I’m not a big fan of snow, or even winter, for that matter. I would much rather be warm than cold, dry rather than wet and in sunlight rather than dark and drab. But there is something really special about the first snowfall of the season, especially when it is snowing so hard that it resembles a white-out. And without fail, I just stare like some sort of guy who is enamored with something he has never seen before.
During the last few years, it’s widely known that weather has become more severe than in the past. We have had hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, heat waves and cold spells. Whether it is global warming, which the scientists debate, or some other phenomenon, we can’t get away from the fact that the weather is more unpredictable than any time in centuries.
Now don’t get me wrong about this snow thing. I do love the first snow – probably because it’s been a while since I saw it, but I don’t want you to get the impression that I am looking forward to having snow on the ground all season. No thank you… But whenever I do think about the seasons and the different kinds of weather we have, I am always drawn to the story of Job in the Old Testament.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, Job is the story of a man who is faithful and happens to be the target of Satan’s advances, with the knowledge and consent of God. Satan is told that he can torment Job, but not kill him. The book goes on the describe the challenges that Job faces as he loses his family, his livestock and his possessions. Throughout the chapters, he has several rounds of conversations with his friends who advise him that Job must have sinned or done something to anger God. In fact, none of this is true – Job was the object of this interaction between God and Satan.
Job does not believe that he has sinned – in fact, he steadfastly believes that he has been faithful to God. The problem comes near the end of the book when Job and God have a conversation. Job questions God – and God doesn’t respond the way Job would like. In fact, God really gives Job a difficult time. The last several chapters are dedicated to the things that God has created and how He has dispersed his power and authority throughout the world.
In this most difficult to understand book, there are two references to snow. First, in Job 37:4-6, we are told, “When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ Of course, we know that God controls the snow and the rain. However, it may shock you to know that the other reference to the snow has to do with where God keeps the snow. One of my favorite verses in the whole book of Job comes in 38:22-23. We are given a particular insight into things about the grandiosity of God that I never fail to be amazed by. In these verses, God asks Job, “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?”
Wow! Can you even imagine God’s supply of snow and how He decides to dispense it over the earth? Or what about the damage caused by hail – remember the uses of hail in the Old Testament? How can we ignore the greatness and vastness of God and all of His creation? It just doesn’t make sense…
My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God is more awesome and great than we can even possibly imagine – yet He cares about every part of His creation – plants, animals and of course, humans. My prayer is that the next time your breath is taken away by the beauty of nature, or a surprise like the one I had this morning, you will take a moment and thank God for the window into His heart for those of us on earth. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…