White as Snow

My family and I spend endless winter days snow skiing.  Our kids have all been on skis since they were little.  It is something we treasure doing together during the winter months.  For me, there is such freedom found in skiing.  I love being immersed in nature and working my way down the slopes with rhythmic curves through the snow, sometimes untouched.  I love the crisp smell of fresh cold air and rosy red cheeks from the sun and wind.  The noise of the world is entirely blocked out. I’m left with only the sound of my skis…..moving in concert as I cut a path of my choosing.  Freedom.  

My favorite ski days are those with freshly fallen snow.  A blanket of fresh snow, whether skiing or peering at it from inside the warmth of my home, is spectacular.  It is beautifully white and untouched, covering the smallest blade of grass to the largest evergreen.  It brings with it a sense of peace and joy to my heart. Maybe it’s the solitude of snowflakes slowly falling and making their way to the ground, each uniquely different.  Or, perhaps it’s the perfection found in the flawless white covering it leaves over the earth.  Purity at its finest on display.

Many times, a fresh snowfall also leaves me thinking about our spiritual health.  Snow is mentioned a handful of times throughout the Bible. My favorite use is in Psalm 51 where David asks God to cleanse him so that he will be made “whiter than snow.”  David is obviously referring figuratively to his spiritual state, as opposed to being physically white as snow.  He is asking God to wipe his sins clean, remorsefully aware of his transgressions against God, and crying out for mercy and forgiveness.

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 like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Isaiah 1:18

Similarly, the book of Isaiah deals directly with the message of sin and God’s mercy.  Written during the eighth century BC, the people of Israel had once again turned a deaf ear toward God.  They had fallen into grievous amounts of sin and rebellion.  In response, Isaiah challenges Israel to turn away from their sin and obey God wholeheartedly.  He warned Israel of God’s impending judgment, with hopes that the people would return to Him – willing and obedient – so that their “sins like scarlet” might be made “white as snow.”    

Like David, Isaiah was keenly aware of the cleansing effect of God’s mercy. Both wrote figuratively on the relational beauty of repentance and forgiveness; each referring to being made spiritually white as snow. As such, the sight of freshly fallen snow routinely brings to mind the gospel message that humanity is left with in the New Testament. The book of Isaiah gives a wonderful Old Testament depiction of the Immanuel to come.  As Chuck Swindoll writes, “Because of its scope, Isaiah contains one of the clearest expressions of the gospel in all of the Old Testament” in its description of a final judgement and offer of salvation through the coming Messiah. In fact, I’d say it contains some of the most detail of any Old Testament book. 

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).  This is the same Immanuel we celebrate during this sacred Christmas season. The Messiah, born to us as a child, would become the Savior of the world, bringing both mercy and hope for those who believe in Him.  

Like a fresh fallen snow, God desires to make us clean and without blemish, with hopes of spending eternity with us.  As you celebrate Christmas, I pray that you take hold of the precious gift of a Savior given to us…..foretold by Isaiah….and fulfilled by Jesus. 

xo Carre

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