One beautiful autumn day, Izzy and Judah were cuddled up on their Granda Billy’s knee, and he had their apt attention as he told them all about snow. He described, with his hands outstretched, how snow fell from the sky covering the ground, making everything turn white. They love to listen to any story from their Granda, but on that particular day, I recognized a certain sparkle in their eyes and I wondered to myself if they would have the chance to experience this magical snow for themselves.
The next morning they were up early and I heard them chatting about snow as they came down the stairs. They went straight to the hall window, looked out and then I heard Judah exclaim with great disappointment, (cue N.Irish accent) “Awk, no snow!” This happened morning after morning, until I sent them back to their Granda Billy to have him explain why there was no snow in September. He told them it was too early in the year and still too warm, but maybe by Christmastime they would see it, if Jesus wanted to send snow. He told them to pray and that they did. Snow was mentioned, not every night, but on a regular occurrence it was prayed for around our dinner table and in their bedtime prayers.
On Saturday morning, my Mum called with an excited tone on the other end of the phone. “Well what do they think?” I had no idea what she was talking about until I looked out the window to see a sight worth beholding; there was a heavy snowfall and the ground was covered in a carpet of soft, white snow. Danny and I ran to get Izzy and Judah, we set them up on the couch, and then opened the curtains. Their faces flashed with both joy and surprise. Izzy caught her breath and exclaimed “Jesus sent us snow! He heard us ask for snow and He knew we would love it!” Judah just stared out at it with an expression of pure amazement and then he wanted to get out in it quickly to make a snowball. We rushed to get them wrapped up, got their gloves on and I grabbed their wellington boots to keep their feet dry and warm. Soon, they were all ready to go outside and experience for the first time, playing in snow! As I opened the front door, they just took it all in. It was so beautiful, like a Christmas card that was ready to be stepped into. Except, Judah didn’t take a step forward. He didn’t run into it like I had imagined. He just stood looking at it from the front door. “Come on son,” I encouraged him. “You can go play in it.” “But Mama,” he replied, “I don’t want to get it all dirty!” And he lifted up his feet to show me his dirty boots. Sure enough, they had mud all over them, as the week before he had been outside playing with some little piglets. Looking out at the perfect white snow, with no footsteps in it, the snow glistened so pristine, a stark contrast to our little man’s boots, covered in mud. I let him know it was ok, he could walk in it and play in it even if his boots were dirty. However, he wasn’t satisfied and asked me how the snow would get clean again. I told him, we could never clean the snow again. The only way for it to be white and fresh again would be if Jesus sent more snow to cover it all. That seemed to satisfy him and with one jump of joy he launched himself out into the snow. They chased each other, threw snowballs at Granny and Granda, and awe and wonder never left their faces. I stood back watching this simple, beautiful scene and my heart was on fire with the goodness and graciousness of God. Not only did He send us snow, answering the prayers of a little girl and boy who longed to see it, He sent snow on a Saturday morning, when we were all together and Izzy was off school. It came on the only day of the week when we could really enjoy it, revel in it and thank God together for it. Snow on a Saturday; God’s abundant grace.
I have been thinking back to Judah’s reaction at the front door when he caught his first glimpse of snow. It never crossed my mind that he would be worried about keeping it clean! It reminded me of so many dear souls who have listened to the truth of the gospel, and yet, instead of entering into the family of God, they stand on the outside looking in. They long for change in their lives, sleepless at night over decisions they have made and tormented by failures and sin. They long for that peace in their hearts, but worry how they will ever make the change, or clean their lives up. They know their weakness, they see their sin and they fear they can never live up to the expectations of a perfect life. The truth is; they can’t. None of us can, but praise the Lord His Grace continues to fall, as we confess our sins and weaknesses to Him. The Bible tells us that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Just like I explained to our little Judah, that he couldn’t keep the snow clean, so it is with us, we cannot make ourselves good. We cannot keep ourselves Holy, but when we put our faith in the sacrifice that Jesus paid for us on the cross, God sees the righteousness of Jesus, when He looks at you and me. The Blood of Jesus, covers my sin and God sees it no more.
God doesn’t ask us to clean our lives up before we come to Him, that is religion. He simply asks us to come by faith, trusting in Christ alone as our Saviour and He begins a new work within us. The Devil would love to keep us on the outside looking in, struggling with sinful habits we are trying to quit, trying to make up for a sinful past and feeling like we are never good enough to be accepted by God. But dear friend, may the light of the gospel shine true to you this season; God came and died for you, just as you are.
“There is power enough in God to help the weakest, and grace enough to help the unworthiest of all that trust in Him.” – Matthew Henry
As I looked at Judah standing in his muddy boots looking out at the beautiful white snow these verses came to mind:
“He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.”
For those of us who know and love the Saviour, Christmas is a celebration of a Holy promise fulfilled. When the world knew only sin and darkness, God came down and dwelt among us, bringing peace, light and hope to this lost and needy world. He paid a debt we could never pay by His death on the cross, and praise the Lord, He rose again and lives forevermore. May our lives be a testimony of awe and wonder of the grace of God towards sinners. Awe that will fill our hearts and spill over into every part of our lives, shining out the gospel news to those around. May our surrender to God and our devotion to Him, encourage others to step out from the shadow of sin, and by faith, launch out into the grace of our Almighty God.
As I watched my little boy take in the glory of snow and the awareness of his dirty boots, I pray that one day he will have a similar heart response before his Holy God. We are all so unworthy, born in sin and yet the wonder of Christmas is this; Grace came down and made a Way for all things to be made new.
But, we must believe.
I once wrote about a similar prayer for Izzy if you want to read it here (A Prayer for My Daughter.)
We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your prayers for our little family throughout this past year. We appreciate it so much and we are so grateful to the Lord for each of you.