Yesterday much of the US woke up to a winter wonderland. Sheets of snow fell in the night—at my house we got over a foot. School was canceled and the ground was covered. For some people (like Canadians) this is normal. But for many cities, this was extremely unusual.
Have you ever wondered why it snows? I’m not talking about the hydrological reasons. I get that water freezes at a certain temperature, and that granular ice particles form and if the atmospheric pressure and ground temperature match some sort of range, voilá! Snow. But at a more basic level, why did God design a world in which it snows? What is snow designed to teach us? There are two major lessons from the school of snow:
Snow teaches that God has unmatched power: Pictures filled Twitter yesterday of people in North Carolina trying to drive/walk/flee burning cars in the snow. Obviously a storm like this paralyzes the country. Schools are shuttered, airports closed, and schedules are cleared. Conferences that were planned for months are canceled, and people spend hours shoveling out, only to have more snow fall. The point is that God did that. He is the one that causes the snow to fall, and it is done in such a way that is obviously easy (you could say “providential”) for him and it cripples us (Job 37:26).
With one storm, wars have been won and lost. Crops are destroyed and the effort of man is shown to be futile in the face of storehouses of snow—which are easy for God to send (Job 38:22). When you see the snow, remember the power of the one who designed it.
Snow stands as a symbol for purity. Scripture often uses the example of being made as “white as snow.” Yesterday the ground was brown and muddy, today it is pristine. You closed your eyes to a world of dirt, and opened your eyes to a world of white. When snow falls, it covers everything. It blankets the bright and the bold, the dark and the dreary. All of it is made to shine.
This is why snow becomes that symbol for purity (Dan 7:9, Mat 28:3, Mark 9:3, Rev 1:14). When someone is morally pure, the power for that purity is both external and transformative (Isa 55:10). It comes from God, it covers your life, and changes your heart. When you see the snow, be reminded of the fact that purity is moral attribute of God, and it comes from him.
If you combine these two points, you come away with a powerful picture that not only does purity come from God—but it is comes as a manifestation of his power. God alone—through Jesus Christ—has the power to change the lepers spots and melt the heart of stone. He can cover all sin—and he does so because of the death of his son. The blood of Jesus can wash your sins away, making you as white as snow, and all of this is a demonstration of God’s power (Isa 1:18).
Not only does he have the power to forgive sins, but he has the power to change your life. As the ground shines with snow, so the new life in Christ displays a righteousness that shines before the world (Psalm 51:7). This is because God gives righteousness, just like he gives snow (Psalm 147:16).