I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. We rarely get snow here, and when we do it is usually 1/4 of an inch to an inch. Maybe once or twice a winter we will get a “dusting.”
However, last week, we got a winter storm unlike anything we have had in decades. I ended up measuring almost 7 inches of snow and ice piled up on my back deck!
I suppose when you live in a place where it snows regularly in the winter, the site of such a build up of snow isn’t so spectacular. But, when you rarely see it, it is staggeringly beautiful.
I am blessed to live on the outskirts of the city and I have deciduous forest as my back yard. I have hundreds of old, tall, majestic trees on my 1.6 acre plot, and a valley with a creek prevents anyone from building anything behind or around me. Let me tell you, when heavy wet snow falls and sticks to all those trees, my yard looks like Narnia. My cousin DeeAnn saw a photo on Facebook and pointed that out to me. She is right – it is like a fantasy wonderland of sorts, and it is awesome.
Some of my trees are American Sweetgum Trees, and in the fall and winter they drop thousands of gumballs that contain seeds. The gumballs have spikes, and they cover the ground. In the center of my back yard there is a huge Sweetgum tree that I call “The Queen.” She is the oldest, mightiest tree on my property. She is gorgeous when she provides shade in the heat of summer, and when her leaves turn in the fall, but she is a big pain when she drops her thousands of gumballs and litters my entire yard with them in the winter. Every year I shake my fist at her when I have to rake those piles of leaves and piles of gumballs.
So, below “The Queen” in the winter lies a blanket of leaves and gumballs rotting in decay. Just walking through the yard is unpleasant because you cannot avoid trampling over the thousands of spiky spheres. This year I have not yet gotten around to raking them up.
One of the most obvious things to me about the 7 inches of snow and ice was that it covered all that mess so completely, that there was no trace of those prickly gumballs and rotting leaves. Even walking through the snow, and forging sledding trails down the hill did not reveal the blanket of unpleasantness that lay beneath.
What if those prickly nuisances represent my flaws and my sin? Thousands of messy, nasty mistakes and deliberate choices to follow my flesh rather than The Word. And what if that snow represents the infinite Grace, forgiveness and love of my Savior who covers all my sin and flaws to make me blameless and perfect in the sight of my Heavenly Father?
Full, complete coverage. Flawless forgiveness that blankets my entire being and renews me day after day.
Jesus paid it all. What a picture of complete restoration. It is there for the taking, for every single one of us. We just have to accept it, take His hand, and follow Him. Love has already won. We are covered. We are new. We are His. Grace is not deserved, it is freely given, and it is beautiful.
Be refreshed today, and know:
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18