Snow reminds me that this is all grace

We didn’t need a snow dance this year; the snow just came and we rejoiced.  We’ve been known to have a little fun with snow rituals in the past, though, especially when January ends and we haven’t seen a flake yet.

My kids have worn pajamas inside out before and flushed ice cubes down the toilet. Snow dances have been danced.

And then there’s the mysterious ritual, one we can’t quite figure out so we’ve never tried–placing a spoon under the pillow.  Who knew?

We love snow days.

Even I love them, despite the fact that I prefer snow when it is outside and I’m inside.

I love them even though at least an hour of my day is spent suiting my children up in layers of clothes, finding missing gloves and snow boots that fit, zipping up coats, and more.  Then I send all the children out, knowing  I’ll just be unpacking them from all those layers soon and then serving up hot chocolate and sugar cookies.

I love the snow the most when it’s smooth and untouched, gently falling in the darkness of night. I flick on the porch light and stand a few minutes at the back door with my  fuzzy socks  and my mug of strong, hot tea.

I stand and marvel at the peace of it., this quiet covering over the world with white.

I like to pause just for a moment before noise  and the busyness sweep me right along again, just pause and give thanks and marvel at this:  Christ covered us in the blanket of His righteousness.  He made us white as snow.

David wrote:

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow
(Psalm 51:7).

They used this hyssop (the ezov plant) for ritual cleansing in Israel–for purification and the ceremony to pronounce a leper healed and made clean again.

David reminds us that the action is God’s,  not ours.  We don’t cover ourselves with hyssop or dip ourselves down for a cleansing.  We are not our own healers.

This is God at work.  This is the beauty of His grace.

Isaiah tells us this also:

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18 ESV). 

This forgiveness, this overwhelming grace, is God’s work by God’s invitation.

Our God is an inviting God.  He invites the thirsty to  COME and the weary to COME and the brokenhearted to COME and the children to COME.

And to the sinners, He says COME.

Not, come when you’re white enough,  clean enough, holy enough.  Not come when you’ve merited salvation or proved your devotion through enough righteous acts.

He says, “Come.  I’ll  make you white.  I will do it.  And you’ll be white like the whitest snow, pure like the purest wool.”

We’re self-condemners so often—buying into Satan’s lies when he tells us we still deserve punishment for those sins of ours. The Enemy likes to  remind us how unworthy we are.  He likes to shout accusations in our face and beat us down with our past and present failures.

But God.

He simply says, “Come.  Come and let me do the work of grace for you.”

Paul wrote to the Galatian church:

 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose (Galatians 2:21 ESV).

Nullify God’s grace?  Destroy it?  Treat it like nothing?

What could Paul mean?

Nullifying God’s grace is what I do when I reject God’s invitation to come.

I’d never say these words,  and yet isn’t this what I’m doing when I demand perfection from myself, when I beat myself up over mistakes, when I let shame hold me hostage?

I’d rather keep the law.  I’d rather bog my soul down in endless rules and regulations and then beat my soul down when I fail to be perfect (which is inevitable).

Thanks for grace, God,  but no thanks.  I’d rather wear this label:–SINNER –instead of accept my new identity in Jesus– FORGIVEN.

Oh, this is what I say without realizing it:  Jesus, the cross simply wasn’t enough.  My sin is too much.  You died for no reason.   

So the snowfall covers over the lies of Satan and the legalism and that old bully perfection. The snow covers over religious pride and self-righteousness.  The snow covers shame and self-accusation.

And the snow reminds me that it’s all grace.  Amazing grace.  Jesus did the work once for all, and now we’re covered in the snow-blanket of His powerful, cleansing grace, a grace that is indeed “greater than all my sin.”

Maybe you’re in a tropical paradise…but I’m looking at snow

It may be warm where you are today.  Maybe you’re all toasty and sitting out on your back deck to soak up some sunshine.

But not here.

So, don’t make us all jealous with your stories of tropical heaven.

We’re having a snow day. That means taking it slow, enjoying relax time.

It also means huge piles of dripping wet outerwear piled on my laundry room floor and frequent requests from my children that we make snow cream.

While I go play winter mom for the day, I hope you’ll enjoy these 10 Bible verses about snow in the Bible and the reminder that God uses this world of ours, this daily life, this freshly fallen snow to reveal Himself to us.  We look out the window at the sun making the snow glisten and remember this:

God forgives His people, shows mercy, washes that sin right out of a repentant heart.

God washes the world with His Word and refreshes the weary.

The Son of God will gleam so bright when we see Him, that whitest of whites and we’ll fall down in awe of His glory.

  • Psalm 51:7 NASB
    Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.psalm 51
  • Psalm 147:16-18 NASB
    He gives snow like wool;
    He scatters the frost like ashes.
    He casts forth His ice as fragments;
    Who can stand before His cold?
    He sends forth His word and melts them;
    He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow.
  • Psalm 148:7-8 NASB
    Praise the Lord from the earth,
    Sea monsters and all deeps;
    Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
    Stormy wind, fulfilling His word
  • Proverbs 25:13 NASB
    Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
    Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
    For he refreshes the soul of his masters.
  • Proverbs 31:21 NASB
    She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
    For all her household are clothed with scarlet.isaiah1
  • Isaiah 1:18 NASB
    “Come now, and let us reason together,”
    Says the Lord,
    “Though your sins are as scarlet,
    They will be as white as snow;
    Though they are red like crimson,
    They will be like wool.
  • Isaiah 55:10-11 NASB
    For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
    And do not return there without watering the earth
    And making it bear and sprout,
    And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
     So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
    It will not return to Me empty,
    Without accomplishing what I desire,
    And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
  • Lamentations 4:7 NASB
    Her consecrated ones were purer than snow,
    They were whiter than milk;
    They were more ruddy inbody than corals,
    Their polishing was like lapis lazuli.
  • Daniel 7:9 NASB
    “I kept looking
    Until thrones were set up,
    And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
    His vesture was like white snow
    And the hair of His head like pure wool.
    His throne was ablaze with flames,
    Its wheels were a burning fire.
  • Revelation 1:14 NASB
    His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King