Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The recent snowstorms and blizzards have been a knockout in many ways. We are, of course, put out by the inconveniences, but being inconvenienced can be very beneficial. For instance, we stop spinning around working on a task list that “must be done,” yet can’t now because God Himself has stopped us. We are forced by circumstances to look at what He can do and realize that it is He that does it.
“As birds flying, He scattereth the snow, and the falling down thereof is as the lighting of grasshoppers. The eye marvelleth at the beauty of the whiteness thereof, and the heart is astonished at the raining of it.” (Ecclesiasticus 43: 17-18)
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, --
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvelous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.
(from “Snowbound” by John Greenleaf Whittier)
“O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. O ye winter and summer, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever. O ye dews and storms of snow, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.” (Song of the Three Children 44-46)
It is the Lord who makes our circumstances, including the ones in which we function “normally.” Those circumstances wherein we cannot function normally we should take as an opportunity to do as did the Three Holy Children in the fiery furnace. In the midst of decidedly abnormal and discommoding circumstances, they praised and exalted above all the One who made them and us. And, astonishingly, when we praise Him, we come to see His benevolence toward us, even in trying circumstances.
Take occasion to step back from the spinning top and rejoice in Him. And, gather your beloved ones, in front of a fire if you can, and read to each other, especially things like Whittier’s masterpiece “Snowbound.”