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The Amazing Power of Snow

The Amazing Power of Snow

It got the whole family atwitter…the news that we’d be getting 4-6 inches of snow! And when it came, as it normally does, it took center stage.

Have you ever noticed how much power snow has?

Kids get out of school. Parents get off from work. Children get up extra early with excitement. Stores close. Schedules change. Normally responsibility-laden, harried adults put on snow gear and transform into little kids. Hills become theme parks. Muddy asphalt parking lots become pristine white winter wonderlands. Families have to hang out together, often (due to the lack of power) with no entertainment other than each other.

What else can do that?

It’s like the one thing in the world that causes everything to stop. People can be so busy that they can’t even breathe, but then all of a sudden it snows, and they have more time. Work gets put aside for play, out-of-the-house responsibilities get replaced with staying-home-together time, and the whole world looks, for just a little while, completely unblemished.

Oh, I know many of us adults bemoan the snow, because we live in the world of Responsibility (with a capital R) and snow often means more effort, and more work, and more barriers to getting all of the tasks done that we believe need to be done. Appointments get delayed, activities have to be rescheduled, walkways have to be shoveled, work piles up…

But then, there are the responses of the children.

I look at the reactions of my children (well, any children for that matter) to the snow, and I see the pure joy on their faces. Excitement. Wonder. Thrill. An urgent, uninhibited urge to run into it, to jump in it, to be covered by it.

And then I remember that Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:16-17).

And I wonder…maybe there’s something about snow that many of us adults are missing. Maybe there’s something about snow that God wants us to see.

Snow slows us down. Snow invites us to play. Snow stops our regular activity. Snow forces us to stay close to home. Snow shuts off our technological distractions. Snow transforms even the dirtiest, muddiest places into beauty.

It’s like this cold white stuff is able to focus us on what really matters.

I can’t help but see snow and be reminded of the Israelites who, in Exodus 16, were complaining to Moses because of not having anything to eat while in the wilderness. The Lord heard their grumbling, and sent down from the sky thin, white flakes – manna – for them to eat. The Israelites ate this food, directly provided by God, and were sustained. The manna, this perfect provision from the Lord, is described as being “like frost on the ground”.

Hmmm….kind of, maybe….a bit like snow.

It’s almost like we are the Israelites, grumbling through our every day troubles, making a wintry, muddy mess out of our lives through our incessant activity and Responsibility. And then, God provides. He sends a gift in the form of brilliant, clean, perfectly white snow, which covers over our muck and exchanges it for beauty. A provision that stalls our frenetic inertia and calls us to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Why is it that it’s usually only the kids who get it?

So, on this snow day, I don’t want to miss God. I want to see this wintry precipitation as a brief interlude to remind us of what is important. A temporary, beautiful gift from heaven to bring us back to Him, in the midst of our busyness. A shower of grace that is to be our sustenance. We can run, full-speed, creating muck and mess and activity for only so long. Then we need to pause; to rest in the interlude of God and family and beauty.

I believe there is an element of God’s kingdom in this crystalline wonder that falls from the sky. Tomorrow, the world will turn back on and we’ll all be running again, and the wonderland will melt into the sloppy slush of life in motion. But, just for today, Lord, help me to become like a child in the snow.

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