HOW did you cope in the snow?

Those few days at the end of last week are starting to seem like something imagined. Did the 'Beast from the East' really happen? If you had a nasty fall or bumped your car you’ll have no problem saying ‘yes, it did happen’. But for the rest of us the idea that all normal life came to halt for two days with temperatures breaking long-standing records, seems like a false memory.

What is it about snow? It’s the stuff that suddenly tumbles from the sky and throws our tidy unprepared lives into chaos. As a cause of disruption it’s up there with the worst of weather phenomena.

Yet there is something utterly unique about the aftermath of a snowfall. People smile at one another as they walk along. They even greet strangers. Nothing like that happens when torrential rain floods the roads or a storm batters roofs and uproots trees. Why the difference? It’s because after a snowfall, all around us is a magic wonderland of white. Kids implore fathers to get the neglected toboggan out of the garage so that they can go speeding down the nearest hill. And if they haven’t got a toboggan, any old piece of cardboard will do.

A long time ago God spoke to a man called Job who was going through a major crisis and beginning to wonder whether God cared about him. God asked him ‘Have you entered into the treasures of the snow?’ I wonder how different Job’s answer would have been if he could have seen snowflakes through a microscope, or even through a magnifying glass. As snowflakes tumble through the clouds they each take a different path to the ground, encountering the different temperatures and moisture levels which give each snowflake its own unique identity. Meteorologists think that there are one trillion, trillion, trillion different types of snowflakes. How many have fallen to the ground unseen by any human eye, only to be trodden on and turned into dirty slush by our footprints? It somehow gives me confidence that a God who despite our indifference keeps creating beauty in such unimaginably extravagant detail, can be trusted when he tells me I‘m forgiven.

‘I, the Lord invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red but they will be whiter than snow’ Isaiah 1:18 (Contemporary English Version)

John Mark