Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Freshly Fallen Snow

Looking out my dining room patio windows, I marvel at the freshly fallen snow. Overnight a six inch covering of white has blanketed my yard. Only yesterday the grass was brown and brittle, to all appearances dead. In the garden, skeletons of summer’s flowers dance, ghostlike in the wintry winds. The dried grass and flowers are now coated with white, their sharp edges masked by the soft contours of the freshly fallen snow. The low winter sun glitters off the snow, as if some giant hand had strewn diamonds over the whiteness. All is clean and sparkling, a joy to behold.
Besides looking beautiful, the snow’s blanket absorbs sound. No longer do I hear the muffled roar of nearby traffic. The snow-coated world, hushed, wraps a quiet peace and security around my heart.

Tomorrow I will have to drive to work in the snow. The roadsides will quickly lose their pristine whiteness. All along the highways, the once pure white snow is quickly covered with grime. Exhaust fumes, microscopic particles from motorist’s tires, motor oil, sand and salt cover the snow’s beauty. What was once pure, freshly fallen snow has become an eyesore. What came softly from the heavens is now coated with earth’s grime.

The freshly fallen snow reminds me of a new-born baby. The baby is soft and innocent; a new untouched soul has entered the world. All marvel at its appearance. Unfortunately, like the snow that becomes covered in grime, the new-born soul, fresh from heaven, is rapidly covered with earth’s grime. How quickly the ways of mankind begin to coat the soul! Without seeking heavenly guidance, the soul blunders its way in the world. It learns customs from its neighbors, not from its maker. It sees the glamour of the world and is enticed by its false glitter. Soon the once pure soul is hardly recognizable. Just like the road-side snow, the soul has become covered with a thick coat of the world’s grime.

It is impossible to clean the filth from the roadside snow banks. Fortunately, it is possible to clean the filth from the soul. And how is this impossible task accomplished? “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10b). Through his sacrifice we can be made clean. When he was crucified on the cross, he took the punishment for all our sins. All we need to do is believe and ask for his forgiveness. Then we are made holy; all the impurities are washed away and our souls become pure and white as snow. Then and only then can our sparkling white souls enter into the very presence of God.

Almighty God, my soul is dirty, covered with the world’s grime. I have become so accustomed to the dirt that I hardly even notice it any more. Reveal my impurities to me and wash my soul as white as snow. Make me pure enough to stand, unafraid, at the very foot of your heavenly throne.

Isaiah 1:18 verifies this. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

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