“He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow…” - Psalm 147:16-18 Winter almost passed us by without any snow, but we did get to enjoy some for a little while, at least. The adults may have been glad to see it disappear four hours later, but I’m sure the kids were disappointed. Some things are beyond our control.
I remember a snowstorm we had a decade ago, when about 18 inches of snow fell over the area, and almost the entire state shut down for a week (remember that?) That storm created havoc in our towns as workers tried to get home at the end of the day. I recall looking at the eerily beautiful grayish landscape of magical ice coating the trees and the ground, and I was speechless at what our creator could do. I could fight it unsuccessfully and pretend I had some control over my routine for the next few days, or I could use the time to give thanks for the power and majesty of a creator who made all this wonder. The Psalmist said at another place, “How mighty is our God and how majestic are the works of the Lord. Let every knee bow down before him.”
We often trivialize God. The early Israelites were in such awe of God’s power they would not even say his name. If you look closely at the Old Testament you will notice God is not named, but instead, described. How could mere mortals think that we could know all there is to know about God or even what He is called? God chooses to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who God is!
Modern Christianity talks little about the power of God. This awesome God is the one who will also judge us. God also sees our arrogance and wickedness and even our sloth. We are so casual about our relationship to God and His Kingdom on earth—the church. As an afterthought, we express our gratitude. God gets our leftovers. John the Baptist talked about the need for repentance throughout the land; a renewal of faith, a return to a more obedient and thankful lifestyle. Maybe we need more winter blasts to bring us to our knees, so we remember that we cannot handle everything on our own. We need to ask for God’s guidance and strength. We need to journey back home to God in a faith-filled walk with Him and His church. Do you need to be strengthened and renewed? Are you the kind of faithful disciple God deserves?
Lent is our spiritual winter; the time to ponder these things, before spring and the wonder of the resurrection are upon us.