Observations on Life, Faith, Media & Technology

The Treasures of the Snow

In the metro Atlanta area where I live, snow is a very rare event.  Having grown up here, I remember several times that the area was blanketed by snow and it was beautiful.  But usually we get ice storms.  In some ways, this part of the south is known for it’s ice storms.  Ice can be kind of pretty as it surrounds the needles of a pine tree like a clear plastic case.  Unfortunately, ice storms are the number one killer of pine trees in the south.  The trees are not meant to support the kind of weight a thick layer of ice lays on them, so they fall or they bend over to the point they must be cut down.  Falling pine trees in turn are the number one killer of power lines, so quite often a Georgia ice storm is accompanied by a loss of power and therefore a loss of heat.

Snow For about a week now, meteorologists have been saying there was a really good chance for 1-2 inches of snow in the metro Atlanta area on Wednesday (today).  As usually happens to us, the forecast has now been revised to say we are going to get sleet and freezing rain. 

As they used to say in the cartoons, “Curses!  Foiled again!”

I love snow.  Ironically, when we lived in Virginia Beach, we would get an average of two good snows a year.  It is beautiful.  Have you ever noticed how snow can blanket the ugliest eyesore and make it beautiful?  A ratty looking junkyard becomes a winter wonderland with just a couple of inches of snow.

You don’t often think of snow when you think of the Middle East, but did you know that snow is mentioned in the Bible 23 times?  References to snow appear from Exodus to Revelation.  Many of those references contain the phrase “as white as snow.”  Probably the two most famous biblical references to snow come from Isaiah 1:18 (“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 as crimson, they shall be like wool”) and Psalm 51:7 as David is praying for forgiveness for his sin with Bathsheba (“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”)

I guess one of the reasons I love snow so much is because it reminds me that God takes the junkyard of my life – my sin, my rebellion, my disobedience – and covers it like a good snow, leaving beauty where there was ugliness and chaos.

I love the words to that old hymn that says

Lord Jesus I long to be perfectly whole
I want Thee forever to ransom my soul
Break down every idol, cast out every foe
Now wash me and I will be whiter than snow

I am heading to Mississippi this morning, but if snow was in the forecast I think I would stay here in Atlanta, partly for safety reasons, but mostly because I would hate to miss our once every ten years snow!

We still have about six more weeks of winter.  Maybe next time we’ll get some snow.

UPDATE: It is now Saturday morning, (January 19) and “next time” has arrived!  The predicted storm is just now moving into Atlanta and the jury’s still out on how much snow we will get here.  But, I just spent the better part of an hour sitting having blueberry muffins as we looked out over our backyard with snow gently falling, so I’m a happy camper.  BTW, the title for the above post comes from Job 38:22 (KJV): “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?” The word in context really means “treasury” or “storehouse,” but looking out this morning, “treasures” works fine for me.

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