In the last week, the eastern United States has been blanketed with one of the largest snow storms in recent memory. Here in Philadelphia where I live, we received nearly two feet of it.
While it was nice to slow down and fairly (OK, really) annoying to shovel, I was reminded that God created snow for a reason. Many reasons, actually.
Here are four reasons directly from Scripture, plus three more that aren’t mentioned explicitly, but are nonetheless implied and pretty clear.
- Snow reminds us of God’s utter uniqueness. In Job 38:22, God asks Job, ‘Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail?’ Obviously, it’s a rhetorical question. God is speaking poetically here, but of course Job hasn’t entered into the place where God stores snow or hail, which are far beyond his (and our) comprehension. But snow – even two feet of it – are nothing to God, which is just part of what makes him entirely different than us.
- Snow displays God’s sovereign power. While the passage in Job highlights God’s unique character, Psalm 148:16-17 accentuates his power. ‘He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?’ While it took 10 people from our block 3 hours to dig out 8 cars and a few driveways, even crystals of ice are like bread crumbs to God.
- Snow provides a living illustration that God’s word is effective. ‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and… water the earth… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose‘. (Isaiah 55:10-11) Sometimes it feels like God’s word isn’t doing anything, but just as surely as a good snow leaves the ground soggy and wet, everything God says will come true.
- Snow reminds us that God has covered our sins. Psalm 51, David’s famous psalm of confession, speaks of God’s forgiveness in terms of snow. (Who knew?) ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow’ (v.7). David’s sin with Bathsheba had made him dirty, but God’s cleansing forgiveness made him ‘whiter than snow’. When it snows, God wants us to remember that, in Christ, we’re his precious, pure, forgiven sons and daughters.
- Snow slows us down and reminds us that our productivity isn’t all that important. Parking in the city becomes a challenge. We pull over to let another car pass by on the side street near our home. We walk slower and hold our kids’ hands so that they don’t fall. Two-hour delays to school and the office (if we get in at all) all affect the pace of life. We don’t get as much done, and the world marches on. Maybe there’s a lesson here…
- Snow brings us together. We don’t see our neighbors much in the dead of winter, but this last snowfall forced us to get outside and shovel. One by one, we decided it made more sense – and fun – to help each other dig out. Later that night, we got together with our next-door neighbors, too. We love doing that, but rarely make the time because we’re all typically too busy.
- Snow reminds us that, someday, God will ‘make all things new’ (Revelation 21:5). As we’ve seen, in the bible snow is associated with purity, forgiveness and renewal. God has already begun this work in Christians now, and he will complete it when Christ returns. Snow is an invitation to hope for the new world that God is bringing.
There are other places in Scripture God uses snow to remind us of important truths (extra credit: Proverbs 26:1, 31:21; Daniel 7:9; Revelation 1:14), but this should get you started.
The point is simply that snow is more than a day off from work or school, or, a reason to complain. It’s created – and sent – by God himself to remind us of important truths about us, him, and the new reality that he’s brought (and bringing) in Christ.
Which of the 7 takeaways about snow above was most helpful to you? Feel free, of course, to add to the list by sharing in the comments section just below.