Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

Winter Snow

There’s something about waking up to a dreamy Narnia-like world all covered in snow.  Our lives seem like they’re always moving at a 50 mph pace, but when it snows, everything slows down and quiets around us, almost like the whole earth is taking a deep breath, a collective ‘Selah.’  There’s just something about the songs of our Savior found in the snowflakes. I’ve already written here and here about the testimony of the Creator through Creation. Our God is a poet, you see, and He loves to reveal Himself in the world around us. Whether you love the snow or you hate it, and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but God is the Author and Maker of every snowflake. He is speaking to us through every season and even in the simplicity of the snow, God is beckoning our souls to see and know who He is.   

“God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work…From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen.  Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning.It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth. Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.”  (Job 37:5-7, 9-13)

So if God is actually speaking through the snowflakes, what is He trying to convey to us?  There are a few things we can discern in the poetry of winter. One facet is the uniqueness of each snowflake and the intricacy of creative beauty in God’s heart. Another is the wonder that even in the death of winter, there is beauty. Underneath each snow-covered branch, there is still life waiting to burst forth with the warmth of Spring, just as Jesus came forth on that third day. The whiteness and purity of the snow is a beautiful metaphor of the cleansing of Jesus’ blood through His death for those who love Him. And the snow acts as the watering of the Holy Spirit to bring forth life from the buried seeds and lifelessness just under the surface of winter’s breath waiting to bear fruit, just as the seed of the Word in our hearts.

"Jesus could’ve come like a mighty storm, like a hurricane or a forest fire, but He came like a winter snow, quiet and soft and slow." 

This song speaks of something even more potent found within these frozen heralds of weighty mercies… the meekness and gentleness revealed in Jesus Christ through the Incarnation (Matt 11:29; Phil 2:6-8). We can never meditate too much on the meekness of Jesus, and it should be a real focus of our hearts especially during the Advent season. Meekness is best defined as “strength restrained.” We see it in the gentleness, humility, and restraint of the Word made flesh. Jesus left His throne and wrapped Himself in flesh while we were still sinners, enemies of God who mocked Him with every breath He gave.  After the Fall, as humanity continually spiraled more and more into rebellion and sin, God could have chosen at any time to come and wipe the slate clean and start over again.  God had every right to judge the earth for all of our atrocities against Him. Yet He chose instead to come as a Savior and Redeemer, a baby born to a couple in the midst of scandal in a tiny, irrelevant town in an exiled nation.  God came in the middle of the night as an infant, wrapped in dirty swaddling cloths and laid in a feeding trough to sleep. If you give your soul a chance to ponder this for even a moment, it is absolutely unthinkable. Don’t let the Christmas story be so overly familiar in your own heart that you miss the absolute wonder and breathtaking beauty of the Incarnation and what it reveals to us about the heart of God.  

Every facet of Jesus’ life in the flesh, in His first coming, was met with meekness and humility beyond imagination. We see it at His birth and we see it at the Cross, but we also see it in everything in between, in the little things, unspoken and unseen, throughout the life of God living on the earth in the flesh and walking around unnoticed, unrecognized, despised, and even rejected by those He created (Isa 53:3-7).

 

 “… no one has ever had a greater right to retaliate, but used it less. He had at his disposal infinite power to take revenge at any moment in his agony. “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). But he did not do it. When every judicial sentiment in the universe cried out “Unjust!” Jesus was silent. “He gave [Pilate] no answer, not even to a single charge” (Matthew 27:14). Nor did he refute false ridicule: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten” (1 Peter 2:23). Nor did he defend himself in response to Herod’s interrogation: “He made no answer” (Luke 23:9). No one has ever borne so much injustice with so little vengeance.”  ("Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" by John Piper)

Put the tiniest inconvenience or misunderstanding before us and we are instantly inflamed and enraged, singing our much-too-familiar songs in defense of our entitlement and our ‘rights.’  But here we see God Himself in the flesh, the only One worthy of honor and worship, the only One entitled to anything at all, and it’s in His silence in the face of such injustice and rejection that we should be stunned, silenced, and brought to our knees at the greatness of His mercy and patience with humanity.

So the next time you want to complain because of the inconvenience of snow-covered roads, take a step back and remember Who it is who caused those snowflakes to fall from the heavens.  Look at the beauty of the fields and branches all covered in white and remember that God is revealing something of Himself in the purity and quietness of the world around you. Remember the gentleness and humility of Jesus Christ in the Incarnation. Remember that His same voice said, “let there be light,” and there was light, and He could have said a word, just one word, and changed everything; but instead, He was silent as they mocked Him, hurled insults at Him, put a crown of thorns upon His head, and nailed Him to a Cross.  Our minor inconveniences are grains of sand in comparison to the Everests of injustice our God faced while on the earth.  Let His meekness transform you this Advent season.  Fall to your knees and be changed as you behold the glory of God in the face of Christ.