“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow;” (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV)
I grew up where it snowed a lot in the winter. But cement streets, traffic, pollution, and garbage strewn about made the days gray and dingy. Even a colorful sunset often would be marred by a brown lingering haze.
One winter, things were extra nasty. A garbage company strike left streets scattered with bags of trash. Most had been ripped open by animals. Rats and roaches were everywhere. Every kind of creature roamed, making a fitting stage for a horror flick.
On a frosty afternoon, I walked home from school, counting the icicles hanging from the power lines. My breath lingered on the thickness of ice cold air. When I reached the lifeless block I lived on, I hoped a thick blanket of snow would fall to cover the dreariness.
That night it did snow, and in the morning it was if I had been given a new chance to live. Everything was white. School was closed so kids were everywhere throwing snowballs and diving into snow banks made by the plows. Some slid down the tall piles of garbage covered with enough snow to imagine they were each manicured ski runs on top a far away mountain.
I met up with friends and quickly forgot about the dirty old setting underneath. We walked the streets and hung out for hours. But as afternoon approached, temperatures warmed up and the beautiful white snow began to fade to gray and brown slush. Mountains of garbage resurfaced as snow drifts slid down into the grime. Late afternoon brought about the old neighborhood, now more depressing as ever.
The snowfall in my neighborhood only lasted until the heat came. When it was exposed to the change in temperature, it melted away. I trudged inside and wondered why the newness couldn’t stay forever.
Have you ever lived where it snows all winter? Or a place that gets just one snowfall? Maybe you are living in snow country right at this moment. If it’s winter, you probably have fresh snow on the ground. Fresh, clean, white snow. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow . . . “
Jesus shed his blood to cover all our sins. We were like that dingy old neighborhood that was transformed into a winter wonderland. But because of the sacrifice Jesus made, we can have newness that will stand the heat. The snowfall of grace and mercy is one that will not fade away when difficulties intensify.