Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Winter Waltz of God's Word

Down in the land of alligators, mosquitoes, and Chubbies shorts, snow is the one dream that Mickey Mouse cannot make come true.  The number of people older than myself who have never seen snow is actually rather astonishing.  I remember, on one occasion, it sleeting and everyone in the neighborhood was running outside to see semi-frozen water fall from the sky. 

While I have been blessed to see my fair share of snow, unlike my Floridian brethren, it is still somewhat of a novelty to me.  Unlike my former roommate from Iowa who viewed snow rather apathetically, my lack of experience with snow has allowed me to retain an appreciation for its beauty that I might have otherwise lost had I grown up somewhere where snow was commonplace.

It just so happened that I found myself sitting in the snow this afternoon, watching it float down from the sky to kiss the earth.  You see, this afternoon was one of those times where I just needed to get away from school, people, and responsibilities so that I could think and pray.  I bundled up in a hat, gloves, and jacket, and drove myself up to a local bluff where I occasionally go to ponder what’s going on in my life.

Arriving at the bluff, I got out of my car and walked the short trail to the bluff, rather surprised at how much more snow was on the ground there, as opposed to the bottom of the mountain.  It had been snowing for a little under 24 hours, but the snow on campus had pretty much melted away while the snow on the mountain had accumulated.  Arriving at the bluff, I climbed over the stone wall and sat down on the edge of the cliff.  I laid back against the wall, shielded by the wind, and stretched my feet out until they were inches away from the edge.

I stared out at the farmland below, my view obscured by snow like white noise on an old-fashioned television screen.  For the next forty minutes, I lay there mesmerized by the snowflakes gently gliding down from the grey clouds above.  Each flake danced about on the wind as if performing a magnificent ballet; sometimes falling downward towards the ground below, and other times floating upward as it was caught in an updraft against the cliff.  Watching the wintery waltz, I wished that I could step off the cliff and join in on this zero gravity dance, and indeed the dance was so magical that, for a moment, I almost believed I could.

Seeing the snow suspended in the air reminded me of Isaiah 55:10-11 that says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (NIV).

As this thought formed in my mind, I remembered God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Clasping hands like two lovers, these two passages joined together in my mind and I had an epiphany. 

God promises in His word that He knows exactly what is planned for us.  From a human perspective sometimes God’s will feels just like snowflakes falling from the sky; there is no rhyme or reason to how they fall, rather they flit around wherever they are so inclined.  In the same way that trying to understand every facet of the Lord’s will can be frustrating, so focusing on finding an order in snowfall would drive one mad.  It can be so maddening that we often forget that the Lord’s will is not, in fact, random, rather teleological.

God compares His word to snow, not because it falls randomly, but because it is gentle, soft, lovely, and waters the earth when it melts.  Snow has a purpose.  A purpose to prosper the earth, and not to harm it.  While it may appear nonsensical at times, it is truly a beautiful occurrence.

Next time you find yourself confused by God’s will as I was today, take a step back and try to see it as a gentle snowfall, and then watch as God waters the earth.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Caleb,
    From one Floridian to another, this snow is really beautiful. I hope I never get tired of watching it fall. I used to watch thunderstorms in Florida in a similar way when I needed to be still. The verses you shared were very timely. Thank you for sharing your musings!