The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Psalm 19:1
God reveals Himself to us not only in His written Word, but also in His creation round about us. God is a God of order, and in His wisdom brought order to His creation by creating the heavenly bodies on the fourth day, as recounted in Genesis 1:14: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years.” He created these bodies—the sun, moon, and stars—to regulate time and seasons. It is under His control and the direction of His almighty hand that the rising of the sun (the greater light) brings about the dawning of each day, and the setting of the same reveals the moon (the lesser light) to rule our night.
Just as God in His wisdom regulates time by giving us the morning and evening of each day, He also regulates the seasons by divine wisdom. He caused the tilting of the earth’s axis and, in so doing, determines the amount of light and heat different parts of the earth receive from the sun at various times throughout the year—bringing to us the different seasons, each at its God-appointed time. Scripture gives further testimony to this in Psalm 74:16 and 17 where we read, “The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.”
As He gives to each season its own beauty and purpose, the Lord makes very evident to us the truth that He alone is Creator, and He governs and controls all that He has created. And as colder weather now engulfs us (who live in the northern hemisphere), I want to take this time to focus on winter, seeing not only its power, beauty, and spiritual picture(s), but also through all of these the almighty power, majestic glory, and redeeming love of the God who calls it into existence.
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom has thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psalm 104:24
Winter, though the coldest season of the year, can also be a very bright and beautiful time to behold. A sunny winter’s day of freshly fallen snow blanketing the barren trees and covering the frozen ground clothes our world in a dazzling array of whiteness, brightness, and beauty. We read more of the Lord’s handiwork regarding His designing of winter in Job 37:5-10:
God thundereth marvelously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. For he saith to the snow, be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work. Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places. Out of the south cometh the whirlwind; and cold out of the north. By the breath of God frost is given; and the breadth of the waters is straitened.
Here we read that God speaks the snow into existence and breathes the frost and ice. What a wonder! A mere exhaling of God’s breath and our world is paralyzed in the icy grips of winter. An accumulation of beautiful, soft lacy snowflakes can shut down our homes and cities for days on end, bringing to mind the words of the psalmist in Psalm 147:17, “Who can stand before his cold?” What power! What beauty! So much so, that we cannot help but stand in awe and know that this is solely the handiwork of God, the Creator.
As believers, we can do none other than stand in amazement and consider these wonders of God. Job 38:22 asks, “Hast thou entered into the treasure of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasure of the hail?” We, as God’s people, cannot begin to comprehend the intricate design and beautiful makeup of the snow. But we do stand in awe and amazement as we explore the complexity of design and diversity of each individual snowflake, each being composed of tens or, perhaps, hundreds of tiny ice crystals. And God, the Creator, has so designed it that no two flakes are exactly alike. Now stop!—and imagine that for just a moment or two. We who have endured many snowstorms, experienced many snow-related power outages, and shoveled ourselves out of many heavy snowfalls, can never, no matter how closely or carefully we observe the snow, find any two flakes alike. This is truly a wonder—and only a God-created wonder at that.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
Winter also paints some beautiful pictures for the child of God. As parents and grandparents, we should take hold of whatever opportunities arise that enable us to share the beauty of these pictures and their meanings with our children and grandchildren. And since in my writing I often find it easier to express my thoughts by way of poetry rather than in paragraph form, I share the following with my readers in the hope that it might complement my article as well as give expression to my thoughts and feelings on the beauty and wonder of winter and the picture(s) it paints.
Soft, lacy, white snowflakes fell through the night, I woke in the morning to a world made bright, A dark, barren world made clean by the snow…. What a beautiful picture I am so blessed to know.
For that dark, barren world is a picture of me, And I’m glad to be covered and made clean as can be. Though my sins be the color of dark scarlet red, They’re made whiter than snow by Christ’s blood that was shed.
As I stand at the window, viewing winter outside, I’m ashamed of my sin, and ashamed of my pride. What filth and what stain is left by my sin, But the blood of the Lamb creates new life within.
We celebrate His birth in the cold of the year, Yet my heart is made warm—I have no cause to fear— For the Christ Babe of Bethlehem reigns in my heart The great gift of salvation to freely impart.
For though born in a stable, He’s heir to the throne! Thus my glory’s in Jesus, in Jesus alone! And in the snow-covered ground is picture I see Of how Christ shed His blood in atonement for me.
So oft when I think and sometimes ask why How Christ in my stead could so willingly die, My eyes fill with tears, to my knees I am driven To thank God up above for the Gift He has given.
Yes—God gave the Gift that He only could give— His Son as a ransom so that I might live. And so with uplifted voice I will raise Very joyful and thankful songs of praise.
As I gaze through the pane at the glistening white Experiencing the joy of my darkness made light, I see in the snow how from guilt I am free For Christ’s cleansing blood makes me righteous as He.
What beauty we have in this picture God gives, And to know He’s the reason each one of us lives With the hope of new life with Him up above, We stand in amazement at His saving love.
Oh, what a marvelous wonder He’s wrought, Do we thank Him and praise Him as ever we ought?
It is my desire that the reader see in this poem a beautiful picture of the redeeming love of God for His people. The whiteness and brightness of the freshly fallen snow depicts the purity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we commemorate and celebrate during this season of the year. It is through His lowly birth, suffering, death, and resurrection that we are given the unspeakable gift of salvation and life eternal. Thus, as we celebrate His birth in the cold of the year, we joy in the symbolism we find here. For as the snow covers and beautifies the barren and naked ground, so the shed blood of our Lord on Calvary covers the gloom of our sin and guilt, cleanses us, and presents us whiter than snow. Out of the cold and darkness of night our Dayspring from on High, our Bright and Morning Star, our Emmanuel has come. Our Lord Jesus, only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, has come. He, the Word, was made flesh and dwelt among us. He came to make known to us the Father. Came to make known to us our sin and misery. And came to make known to us the glad tidings of the gospel. Truly, we have reason to rejoice! For by His coming, He has dispelled the shadows of the night and turned our darkness into light.
And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. I Corinthians 3:23
Truly, winter is a beautiful season—in both its reality and symbolism. We have only touched on its beauty and wonders. Much more could be said I am sure.
We, who are believers, know and see these wonders of winter and must teach them to our children and grandchildren. They, too, must learn and know that God speaks the snow and breathes the frost. They, too, must see and know the filthiness of sin, but also know that their sins and ours have been washed away in the blood of our loving Savior, and that we now appear before Him whiter than snow. They and we, together, must render thanks to God for the unspeakable Gift of His only begotten Son. And as we celebrate His birth during the cold and darkness of winter, may our hearts glow warm with the joy of knowing that we are not our own but belong unto Him, body and soul, both in life and in death; and that He, with His redeeming love and precious blood, has fully satisfied for all our sins, delivered us from the power of the devil, cleansed us from all guilt, and made us whiter than snow and as righteous as He.
What a wonder! Truly a wonder! We are redeemed! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! We belong to Him! We are His, and He is God’s. All praise and glory be given to Him! And may our lives be lives of gratitude for all that He has done.