First Snow

Title: First Snow


I just moved to the Chicago area from South Carolina. So, while some people are groaning that winter has come again–and early–I’m still naive enough to be filled with a childish delight at the sight of fluffy white flakes. Kids building forts, friends throwing snowballs, flakes whispering softly past my ear and bedecking my sleeve, nighttime glistening with a soft and sparkly glow…there’s something enchanting about the first snowfall of the season.

Snow changes the whole appearance of the landscape: muddy patches suddenly become white, uneven dips in the ground are filled in, and the world looks bright and clean. What was once too familiar to be noticed suddenly looks brand new. Maybe that’s why the songwriter chose snow as his imagery when he wrote, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).

I love that promise. Because sometimes, I just mess up. Good intentions don’t turn into actions. Frustrated, angry words come out of my mouth. Stress takes over, and my full attention remains on myself the whole day. I feel like a rotten leaf trampled in a mud puddle on a damp November day.

But then God steps in and promises to clean me up. And not just cover me like snow covers the ground, but actually clean me to be purer than fresh snow. Because despite my filth, God loves me. He sees my selfishness and rebellious heart, but He offers to take them away and give me a heart that is tender and open to His work (Ezekiel 36:26-27). He was willing to become dirty so He could make me clean; He took my wrongdoing and paid for it Himself, then He gave me the credit of His purity.

God is able to make me pure because He is pure. He desires to make me pure because He is full of mercy. And He traded my filth for His purity because He is selflessly loving. What a God we have!

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

Isaiah 1:18

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