I’m from Northwest Ohio, which basically means I am capable of experiencing all 4 seasons within any 7 day period.
It’s January, and I actually like snow. Not being out in it necessarily. (My husband has always been the sledder and snow romper with my kids.) But I do appreciate the effect snow has on the pace of the world. Like, snow ten inches and make life stop racing for 48 hours! Woo-hoo!
And thanks to being the hot seat of Mother Nature’s schitzophrenic episodes, we aren’t typically on lock down long before a warm up happens and life resumes. (Which is about the time we all get stir crazy and are done with board games for awhile, so it works out.)
We had one of these exact series of events just this past week. Snow storms and life cancelled, only to have a warm up into the 50’s later in the week. At some point during that warm day, I went to my sun room and stood in front of the windows that over look my backyard. My immediate thought was, “Ugh”.
You know those last few days of fall into winter when your kids are trying to get as much play time as possible? Well, my kids do. And they will pull out baseball gloves and footballs and kickballs, all in an attempt to get in a few more days before the snow falls. Unfortunately, some of the gear never gets put away. There always seems to be the stray baseball or football glove. Football or football tee. Jacket. Notebook. Flip-flop. Please tell me someone else has a yard like this?
There just always seems to be those things that you see right as winter is coming, but you never get around to picking up, and then, well, spring will come around again…
Which is what I really love about snow! A few inches on that ground and no one can see a thing! It’s like that great big proverbial rug to sweep it all under! Backyard: clean! Ta-da!
Until that morning. When I looked out across that yard, I suddenly saw the now wet, soggy, dirty remains of stuff littering my lawn. Not nearly as pretty as that snow.
Just as my attitude started to really sour about how my children always seem to leave things out and why can’t my place just look nice for once, I heard a little voice say “It’s better covered, isn’t it?” The verse from Isaiah 1 popped into my head,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.”
I know it’s a bit cliche to always think of that verse when snow falls, but this day it hit me differently.
I like the snow to cover junk and the mess of my yard. I like the “white” of forgiveness to cover my sins.
But I’m not sure that I’m very good at leaving them covered.
God says “I will not remember your sins” in Isaiah 43 and and in Psalms 103 He says, “ For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
But in my finite strength, this is extremely hard to do. I vividly remember my own past mistakes. Some of them can make me cringe when they replay on the film of my mind. Oh my, the regret and shame can be heavy.
As a parent, I want to set a better example. As I sat staring at the disarray of my backyard, I realized again my job of being an ambassador for Christ. Every aspect of my life is supposed to reflect to my children a quality of Christ. If I keep rehashing a struggle or repeat offense to one of them in the wrong way, I’m only going to cement in their mind that we can’t get away from our sins and that they can’t measure up. Eventually, they’ll picture God with his frying pan, ready to pounce when they screw up!
I’m a disciplinarian parent. (Not just because I have ten kids and I’m afraid to get eaten alive!) It’s my personality. I don’t tend to err on the side of grace. The snow that day reminded me that when I accepted the gift of Jesus’ blood offering for my sins, it was complete and infinite. God covers all the dirt and decay of my sin past, present, and future!
That’s the example I want to be for my kids. No one wants to be around someone who pulls their dirty laundry out of the hamper over and over. No one wants a momma yelling, “Why are we still dealing with this?!” God has patience with my trouble spots. I want to try harder to do the same for my kids this year.
Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.
Striving to give God the glory in 2018.