We woke up this morning to the snow falling. A blanket of white covered the yard and snow flakes of every size and shape in a mad rush to cover the earth. The ‘fur children’ all were watching intently out the front window and so instinctively I set my phone on camera mode and snapped a few pictures of the beauty. Then I thought…
Malachi 3:10 (CSB)
Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,” says the Lord of Armies. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.
Thank you Lord for using this extraordinary covering of snow to remind me of the Grace and Blessings that you faithfully pour out on us.
What makes this snow fall extraordinary? Well, here in the deep south we will go many years without so much as a snow flake. You can easily consider snow around here outside the typical related to weather events. Even more so, having enough to cover the ground is an even more rare event. Then there is the timing of this snow; we are but a few weeks from the celebration of Christ’s birth; notably the greatest blessing ever bestowed on mankind. The greatest gift ever!
Blessings in the Storm
Despite the beauty of the image, with the snow covering the ground; often our vision of the blessings imparted to us are diminished in our lives because of the storms that rage around us.
It becomes easy to overlook the blessings and focus only on the turmoil. That isn’t what God wants us to be doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (CSB)
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
But we do not most of the time. It really is sad when you consider what the average person has been blessed with; how very little we truly rejoice, express our gratitude to the originator of all good things, and give thanks!
James 1:17 (CSB)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Looking out at the snow again; ‘coming down from the Father of lights’ grabs my attention. The power has been flickering off and on. ‘Father of lights’; how miraculous is He! Yes, blessings! Despite the flaky power issues, despite the employment picture, despite the medical issues, despite any of the struggles; He pours out His blessings on us.
James 1:2-4 (CSB)
Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
Adversity comes to everyone. We after all live in a corrupt world which is subject to decay and fraught with peril at every turn. God doesn’t visit tumultuous events on us! Evil and injustice abounds in the absence of God’s providence. None the less, because we are exposed to this world there will be those things that creep in and cause us momentary distress. But remember from yesterday, what distresses us, also distresses God!
Isaiah 63:8-9 (CSB)
He said, “They are indeed my people, children who will not be disloyal,” and he became their Savior. In all their suffering, he suffered, and the angel of his presence saved them. He redeemed them because of his love and compassion; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of the past.
In all their suffering (distress), he suffered!
Getting the Picture
As I look out, watching as the snow layers on flake upon flake imparting a full blanket of white several things come to mind that are blessings right now, despite all the things that could be considered to be calamities encroaching upon me, my family, my friends and neighbors.
- The quiet – The amazing effect of snow covering the ground imbues a quiet comfort.
This place is a place where we can hear the Spirit sharing truth with us.
- I’m warm – Although, the snow outside is cold, I am in my shelter.
I’m reminded of the 23rd Psalm, ‘I shall not want’, and I do not want for anything.
- I have this day – Odd how we neglect the obvious. The very air we breathe in every morning.
- Provision – Looking at the photograph again I see two cars in the driveway covered in snow. It reminds me of who provided those vehicles. Then I consider that there is a modest supply of food in my home. I sip my peppermint herbal tea and all I can think of is ‘Thank you!’
- Those about me – This morning, between text’s, messages on social media, and phone calls I’m reminded about the wonderful people God’s blessed me with that surround my life.
- I’m sitting her in my studio with my instruments and all this reminds me of a chain of blessings, including my instruments, but even more specifically all the elements that go into the music I love so very much. The thirst to praise through song. The very fact that my arthritic shoulder that inhibited me from playing, was healed by the Master’s touch. My voice that I can sing praises to my Lord and King.
So many blessings. The list approaches ‘overwhelming’, but the longer I think of them the more they accumulate. At the same time, those things that I thought were problems get smaller all the while.
Some Blessings Await
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (CSB)
Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown. So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
As if the blessings we possess right now were not enough, God preserves for us rewards in heaven that are not subject to wear, corruption, and decay. So, while, we have that which we can be thankful for today, this is not our eternal reward. I really don’t need a crown Lord! It’s not as if you’ve not blessed me enough already. I can see through the storms and it is you who I see walking on the water towards me. There is no peace like that peace which you impart on yours.
I have what I need; in you!
Psalm 23 (CSB)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.