Looking back, for years to come, millions of people will remember the winter of 2014/2015. They’ll speak of how long it seemed to drag on, and they’ll recall the bitter cold and the ice. But perhaps the one word they utter most often will be the word SNOW.
We didn’t get any here, but most of the nation lay under a blanket of snow that never seemed to go away. Newsletters from brethren laboring in so many places cross my desk each week; and in virtually all of them one can see pictures of snow-drifts, snow-covered roofs, trees, lawns, and roads. Snow everywhere and seemingly unending! Where does it all come from?
I’m reminded of the question that God put to Job: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, Which I have reserved for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle?” (Job 38:22,23).
Weather, along with other laws of nature, is not merely episodic happenings that can be explained away with no mention of Jehovah. Weather belongs to Him! He uses it as He wills. God told Job the weather can be a divine instrument of judgment. But we also know that the winter snows are a part of God’s cycle of weather for this planet; for He has said, “While the earth remains, Seed-time and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease” (Gen. 8:22).
We understand that the inconveniences of a long winter, including snow, are part of God’s plan for renewing the earth for another seedtime and harvest. With winter come the very things needed for fertile fields and a bountiful harvest. We often use winter in a metaphor to speak of the final years of one’s life, but it seems that the Scriptures often view it as the preparations for new life. I like the biblical metaphor better!
Are you in winter or in spring?
Again, I’m not talking about age—I’m talking about activity. The northern hemisphere is slowly warming, and the days are lengthening. All the while, nutrients and the moisture needed have been banked and ready for the needs ahead. Have you allowed God to work His winter in your heart? Have you let Him bring upon you an abundance of knowledge and plenty of experiences (though some may be painful) that prepare you for the life still before you? Trials come (James 1:2); have you taken advantage of the times God has given you to be ready for greater things ahead?
In a sense, all the events that unfolded in the Old Testament–all the amazing things that God accomplished for His people and through His people to bring about the great plan of redemption–were like the winter season. Like the beauty of spring, the gospel brings about those “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19).
And did you know that EVERY TIME you see the word “refresh” in the New Testament, it comes about from one of two sources? Either from the Lord by the power of the Gospel (Acts 3:19), or it comes about from faithful company and the encouragement of being with brethren (Rm. 15:32; 1 Cor. 16:18; 2 Cor. 7:13; 2 Tim. 1:16; Philm. 7,20). As a Christian, winter is OVER! You’ve already experienced the season of refreshing that comes with obeying the gospel. Are you now taking advantage of the soul-refreshing fellowship of like-minded believers? I hope you are!
Keep studying and keep serving! DC Brown ©2015