Growing up in Central California, we didn’t get a lot of snow. I can recall three times, as a child, when I
saw snow falling. To call it snow would be laughable by Minnesota standards, but to us it was amazing:
microscopic snowflakes lightly drifting to the ground; the sparkle in the air as the sun shown off the
otherwise nearly imperceptible flecks; kids trying to catch what they could to get a quick glimpse of real
snow before it melted in their hands. Snow brought momentary beauty and filled us with joy.
I’ve lived in the Midwest now for 14 years and over that time there has been no shortage of snow. Sure,
there are downsides – I’ve had to dig out quite a few cars and shovel quite a few driveways – but I’ve
also seen, on a much deeper level, how snow can bring beauty and joy to an otherwise drab and dark
winter. There is nothing like a new layer of snow to cover up the dirt and grime that have been building
up. Nothing like newly fallen snow to make the landscape look fresh and clean once more.
As I have been watching the snow fall this week, I’ve been reminded of a message that God gives his
people in Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they
are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.”
The sins of Judah had been piling up like muck on the side of the roads. They had turned their back on
God, they were mistreating one another and only focused on themselves. Their hearts were looking
dirty, ugly and lifeless, filled with guilt and shame. Yet God didn’t give up on them. He didn’t cast them
aside. Instead, he promised that he would restore the beauty & joy; that he would bring new life to
their hearts and cover over their sin like snow covers the dingy ground in winter, if only they would turn
back to him.
Like the people of Judah, each one of us has a pile of sin that keep us from experiencing a full
relationship with God and fills us with guilt. For some, those sins might seem small, for others they
might be big, but either way God offers a new start. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ and choose
to follow him, God says that our sins are covered over like snow covering the ground. Is there guilt and
shame in your life that needs to be dealt with? Put your faith in Jesus and he will purify your heart and
make it whiter than snow.