26th January 2019

The Treasures of the Snow

“Have you entered the treasury of the snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble…?”
Job 38:22-23 (NKJV UK)

Snow is not that common in my part of the world, so when it comes I am always struck by its simple beauty and captivated by how it falls so evenly and relentlessly. Snow can hide so many of the imperfections beneath.

But quite quickly we wish it gone. It’s like questions about wasps. What value are they? And slushy, dirty snow is no use to anyone. And yet snow is a kindness from our God. It actually brings a blanket which warms the land and protects delicate plants and animals, especially insects, from the cold. Spring bulbs are actually encouraged to grow, where we would expect them to stop. But no, as ice covers rivers and ponds it too protects fish and invertebrates. Ice, although a solid of water, is actually lighter, and so floats. Who designed that, we might ask our agnostic nature-watchers.

Ice and snow lock away the liquid water that otherwise, if precipitated too quickly, might wash away and strip the winter landscape of cover, but instead releases it slowly to be absorbed profitably. The sun, when it breaks through the clouds, doesn’t melt the top of the snow. The rays penetrate and melt the lowest level by warming the soil beneath. It can also be helpful to birds and small mammals who by now can no longer reach berries on bushes. The snow lifts them up to a new shelf level, as it were, and they can tuck in.

In the Bible, God tells us that though our sins be scarlet, yet they will be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). At first reading this can be seen as merely changing red to white; but there’s more to it than that. God, too, hides away our imperfections with his grace and mercy. We too are protected from the unbridled ravages of sin, as we surrender and follow his commands. We are lifted up to see and experience the new life with him. And then again, the benefits to us are often trickled down bit by bit as we can comprehend them best. It’s all an analogy, but then our God, recognising our limitations, so often uses analogies (parables) to teach us what otherwise we struggle to comprehend.

Righteous Father, thank you for the little things in life—things we so often pass over and ignore. And yet they often contain important lessons we need to learn. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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