We’ve had a lot of snow lately, which is not surprising since it is winter, after all. Snow is magical when it is falling from the sky, whether in big fluffy flakes or delicate crystals swirling through the air. Snow is lovely when it first blankets the ground, covering everything in sight in a soft glow or in dazzling white when the sun reappears to inspect what the clouds have poured out upon the earth in her absence. Either way, the fresh snowfall is beautiful to behold.
I wish it would stay that way – the snow – fresh and new and unspoiled and perfect – but it never does. Soon enough, there are tracks on her once unscarred, unbroken, pure white blanket that envelopes earth for the briefest of moments. Footprints, animal tracks, tire tracks, all make their mark on her previously perfect snowscape, changing her character with every new wound upon her perfect countenance. I watch from my window as this transformation takes place before my eyes. I cannot stop it. And I confess – sometimes it is my own footprints, my own tire tracks that tread upon her unmarred surface, leaving permanent scars behind.
Eventually, the fresh snow is no longer new, she loses her dazzle, gone is her clean, serene countenance. In its place are piles of dirty snow and slush and a landscape scarred by the day’s treading upon her cover. There are now holes in her once perfect, white blanket where pavement or brown patches of earth poke through, spoiling her once spotless presence. Sometimes my life feels like the spoiled snow – such good intentions, such desire for the purity of the clean slate, the possibilities of the fresh start, the promise of the new beginning. Isaiah understood what snow represented when he wrote these words,
” ‘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 as crimson, they shall be like wool.’ ” (Isaiah 1:18)
David also desired the purity of unblemished snow. In Psalm 51:7, he cried out to God,
“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
But the white snow soon becomes dingy and dirty and blemished and broken as it is not protected from the events of the day. A day can be full of many things, both the mundane and the miraculous, trials and triumph, heartache and joy, despair and hope, – a lifetime contained in each day – each day a gift. Matthew 6:34 says this about our days,
“Each day has enough trouble of its own.” The Modern Language translation puts it this way,
“Each day’s peculiar troubles are sufficient for it.”
And those “peculiar troubles” sure do make their mark on my day and on my heart. They do so as clearly as the tire tracks and snow plows leave their lasting marks on snow’s new, pristine work covering the earth and her multitude of hurts and sins, dressing her in pure white splendor for a breathless, miraculous moment, like a bride ready to meet her groom. I want to feel like the new snowfall – bright, hopeful, unscarred, unstained, unmarked by the world’s cares – but today as I look out on piles of old snow, grown gray and dingy, its luster lost long ago, I feel like the snow that’s been walked on and trampled down and shoved aside to await the melting away process.
Nothing new or fresh about today. But then I remember these words from Lamentations 3:21-23,
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” The Living Bible translation uses these words,
“Yet there is one ray of hope: His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us (me) from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; His lovingkindness begins afresh each day.”
That’s what I need – hope, compassion, God’s mercy, faithfulness and lovingkindness – and all new “afresh” every day! And that’s just what God gives – and He gives these gifts daily. This is a good thing because by the end of the day I definitely feel like I’ve used them all up and I am running on empty. However, God’s word tells me this important truth – His supply is limitless and He graciously resupplies me every morning! His lovingkindness begins afresh each day.
I like that. Each day is a new beginning with my Heavenly Father. I don’t have to feel or look like old snow. Every day is a fresh start, with a clean slate – no tracks or treads from yesterday marking up today, which will have enough peculiar troubles of its own. But I get to blaze a new trail today, the old tracks are wiped away. Each day, God gives renewal, like a fresh snowfall covering my ugly sin and making everything beautiful. And predictably, I trespass on that pure snow, making marks where moments before there was perfection. But God pours out His mercy on me again today, covering yesterday’s mistakes – giving me a clean slate and renewed hope for today. David desired that new beginning. In Psalm 51:10 he cried out to God,
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Other translations say, “Create in me a clean heart, O God,”.
Oh, to have a clean heart! How wonderful that would be! Yet how quickly my own trespasses leave dirty tracks across my heart that only God can wipe away with His forgiveness. I am so glad His mercies are new every morning – that like a fresh snowfall, His mercy covers my sin, then washes it away. I need His covering and His cleansing. Everyday He provides me a fresh snowfall (like the manna falling from heaven) and everyday I mess it up. But God’s grace is greater than all my sin. He continues to rain down fresh snow. He continues to rain down fresh forgiveness. He continues to make all things new.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ (Revelation 21:5)
thank You, Lord, for making things new – for making each day new – thank You, Lord, for making things beautiful – thank You for the beauty of newfallen snow . . .
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
sincerely, Grace Day