I’ve always been one of those crazy people that loves winter. I don’t think there is a time of year more beautiful. I was reminded of this again today as I was driving, looking out at the fields of white sparkling in the sun; seeing the glistening clumps of white, contrasting with the dark green boughs of the evergreen trees. There is something refreshing in the crisp, thin air, so unlike the heavy, sticky air of summer.
And yet, winter has such a negative connotation. It’s seen as something to dread, instead of enjoy. Even more than the thought of struggling with hazardous roads, broken down snow-blowers and increased heating bills, winter is commonly associated with death, the end season of life. And it’s true, winter does bring death to many things in nature. But how often we forget that winter also precedes new life.
As I was driving today I thought about what a perfect season winter is for Christians – it reflects our spiritual lives, so well. In fact, the word snow is found several times in the Bible, but perhaps the most well known usage is Isaiah 1:16-18:
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
defend the fatherless,
plead for the widow.
“Come now, let us reason together,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
I thought about the connection between winter and death, and how old things die off in the winter, but that winter gives way to spring, and new life. Likewise, living with Christ is much the same – our old selves die off, and we become a new person. Like a blanket of snow that hides the dirt and decay of nature, turning the world into a thing of beauty, a decision to live for Christ, to reject our desire for sin, cleanses us white as snow, and turns us into things of beauty.
And, just as every year the world turns muddy and grey again, so we too, often fall prey to sin, and muddy our souls. Yet, just as faithfully as the winter snows come in to cleanse the world time and time again, so too, does Jesus, faithfully, repeatedly cleanse us.
Now I know why winter is my favorite time of year – it’s a beautiful reminder of the faithfulness of Christ.