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winter wonderland thoughts

This morning was one of those peaceful, beautiful snowy mornings.   Looking out the window as the sun was just coming up, snow gracefully had frosted every tree.  If I’m going to live in a winter city then that’s what it should look like.

What I also love about the beautiful snow is that it covers the mess in our yard.   We seem to always have a mess back there every fall.  Looking at it drives me nuts, but when it snows, our yard looks beautiful!   You’d never guess that its a mess underneath! (until the snow melts….)

I was reflecting on a verse I read a few weeks ago from Isaiah 1:18.  God says to His people; “Come, let us reason together.  Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow.  Though your sins are red like crimson, they will be like wool”.

Israel, God’s people, had gotten themselves in a ton of trouble.   Overtime, they lost their obedience to God’s ways and had fallen far.   They still showed outward acts of worshipping God (Isaiah 1:11-15) but God was sickened by it.  They became evil-doers who acted corruptly and abandoned God in their hearts.  They were full of rebellion.   Isaiah lists their sin: they forgot about the orphan and the widow and chased after wealth and reward.  The women were proud and would walk around with heads held high, full of vanity and seducing with their eyes.   The people mocked God by thinking He didn’t see their full out acts of disobedience.  They would twist the truth to justify evil – so much so that they couldn’t tell what was good and what was evil!  They would actually call “good”-evil and “evil”-good!  They were wise in their own eyes, living life only for pleasure and gain. (taken from Isaiah chapters 1-5)  Wow!  I almost feel like I’m reading about society today…….

Yet even though God was so angry with them, He offers them a truce.   He says “Come…”    Really, God could have just wiped them out.   They were God’s people.  They knew His word.  They knew exactly what they were doing was wrong, they had just disobeyed so much that truth had become blurred.   But He didn’t give them what they deserved.  Instead He invites them to come to Him.

He then even gives greater grace by saying “Let us reason together…”   What’s there to reason?  They had done evil in His sight!  But He is gracious and compassionate.   He offers them a deal of a lifetime:  He offers to take their sin away.  Instead of being like scarlet, they would be white as snow.

Isn’t that just like God?   Do you know this side of Him?  The gracious, compassionate God that He is?   Just like my messy yard has been covered with this beautiful snow, so God is there to cover our sin and make us new.   The difference is that when the snow melts in my yard, it will be the same way we left it.  But when God covers our sin, He makes it final.   There is no limit of God’s forgiveness.

At the time this verse was written, Jesus hadn’t come yet.  God was telling His people that soon, He would provide this kind of forgiveness and freedom for them.   It would happen through His Son.

Do you remember what God has done in your life?  Do you remember what your life was like before He made you white as snow?   What would your life be like now if He hadn’t?  If you hadn’t come to Him?

Or maybe you’ve never made a decision to follow Him?  Maybe you’ve never known the gracious/compassionate side of God?  Perhaps to you, He’s always been “making a list, checking it twice, finding out who’s naughty or nice”…..

Run to this God – this God who is full of mercy.  This God who is saying to you and to me: “Come….”

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