Did you hear the news? On Sunday morning the groundhog saw his shadow and prognosticated another 6 weeks of winter weather. It seems that the forces of nature ‘got the memo’ as, on Wednesday, they dumped nearly a feet of snow upon our neighborhood. At this point, we in the Boston area have been battered with snow, sleet and bitter cold for the better part of two months and all we have to look forward to is another month and a half of the same. I admit that I am ready for balmy breezes and eighty degree days. However, there are a few things God can impress upon us as the snow and the temperatures continue to fall.
We can rejoice in the power of small things. There is nothing intimidating about a water droplet. However, if you subject that droplet to sub-freezing temperatures and group it together with about a billion other minute droplets, you make a snow drift. This insignificant speck of moisture, when gathered together with other insignificant specks of moisture, can stop traffic, cancel school and collapse roofs. Proverbs 30:24 says, “Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise….” It would be a mistake to assume weakness or frailty based upon size. Winter weather reminds us of this, whether we are thinking of precipitation, people or programs. Size is not the sole indicator of significance.
We can rejoice in the value of stillness. When my plans cannot be realized, I tend to get irritated. Winter weather grants me the awareness that my schedule is not ultimately under my control. On days like this past Wednesday, when school is cancelled and streets are not yet plowed, things suddenly go quiet. There are no cars on the road or people milling about in my community – and we are drawn to watching the snow accumulate just outside the window. There is a beautiful and serene stillness that God allows us to enjoy. It is a stillness that I would miss if all things went according to my plans. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
We can rejoice in the realities of dormancy and new life. As I look out the window I can see the blanket of white that covers every unpaved surface. What I cannot see is the deep soil beneath the permafrost; nor can I see the seeds and roots that are waiting for their proper season to burst forth with flowering vitality. And, while I cannot see these things, they are there, and they will bear fruit when the time is right. And what is true about all nature is true about us. Psalm 3:5 says, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.”
I still don’t like winter weather. But I do appreciate the cold and snow. It teaches me a number of things that I wouldn’t choose to learn and slows me down just enough to remind me that God is still in charge. Now, if He would just bring spring a bit sooner, I wouldn’t object.