It’s May third and where I live (Thunder Bay, Ontario) we’ve not only had the snowiest April on record, but it has continued snowing into the first week of May. Ask anyone around here about the weather, and you with either get a strong complaint or a wordless groan. The only people who seem excited about this are the cross country skiers who are seeing their season go much farther than anticipated.
There are a couple thoughts that have been stirring in me with all this spring snow. As well, I believe there are a few biblical passages that may be helpful to inform our reaction to such things.
First. Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing
As Christians we are called to be a people of gratitude and not grumblers or complainers. Ultimately every complaint is a complaint against the God who orders all things – even the weather.
Second. 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 like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Snow is a reminder of the wonderful grace of God toward all who believe. It is a picture of the purity, righteousness, spotlessness, and blamelessness which clothes every believer in Christ. When you see snow, think, “thank you God that you have washed away my sins, taking the stain and shame, and giving me your perfect righteousness.”
Third. Romans 8:19-22
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
We know that God is in control of all things and is never thwarted in his purposes. However, we also know that this world that we live in is a “fallen” system. Things just don’t work the way they were intended to before our first parents plunged not only the human race, but all of creation into the curse of sin. As we read above, the creation itself is “groaning” to be set free from the curse on it, as it looks forward to the New Creation at the return of Christ.
So here is my line of thought on all this. (Thankfully as Christians who have Revelation from God concerning even the state of the world, we do not have to have a ‘simplistic’ approach to life, but rather a biblical approach. As such we can have much more nuanced thought).
My suggestion is that there are multiple, simultaneous reactions that we can have to a May snowstorm without falling into sin. As already stated, we can be thankful and joyful in the knowledge that not one flake of snow falls apart from the good plan of God. This kills complaint.
As well, we not only see the beauty of God’s creation in the intricacy of a snow flake, but we are reminded by its brilliant whiteness of how God looks at each of us, dressed in the brilliant whiteness of the righteousness of the Son of God.
Finally, I do believe that there is a place for a godly “groaning” when we see that the brokenness of creation is illustrated by the weather. This is not a complaint, but rather a deep knowing that this is not how it is supposed to be, and it is not ultimately how it will be. As we groan along with creation, we do so with expectant hope that Jesus will make all things new, and one day there will be no more snow storms in May.