Reflections — February 2017
Winter is a time when, for generations, young children have delighted in making paper snowflakes to decorate windows, bulletin boards, book jackets and probably a host of other objects. There is an almost a magical quality about them, something akin to butterflies. Sparked by imagination and creativity, great variety emerges making any display more captivating. I first became enthralled with actual snowflakes as a child, when my grandpa held a magnifying glass over some snowflakes on my snowsuit. It was exciting to see the detail in these tiny crystals of water. But more amazing was to learn that the design of each one was different. Yes, they all had 6 major “stems” but the design and configuration of each was unique. Some were delicate, intricate, almost whimsical, while others were more solid, basic, sturdy appearing. That day as I looked out across our yard, buried under more than a foot of snow, I recall wondering, “How could every snowflake be different?” The numbers of them was beyond comprehension.
Another interesting aspect of snowflakes is that dependent upon the weather conditions aloft and on the ground, we will get a different type of snow. The more humidity in the air the heavier, wetter, and more compact the snowflakes will be. Great conditions for snowmen and snowballs! Not so great for those faced with the shoveling task! With dryer atmospheric conditions the snow will be light and fluffy. And while it may pile up quickly, its moisture content is low as is its benefit to nature, water supplies, and agriculture. While light fluffy snow melts readily, heavy, compact snow that is plowed up solidifies into icy snowbanks that linger long after our lawns are green again. Who can recall the fun of playing King of the Mountain as we climbed on those solid, icy snowbanks along driveways or city streets?
Recently the word “snowflake” has taken on a far different connotation. It has become descriptive of people who are so adversely affected by changing circumstances around them that they view life as unsafe, or perceive themselves to be in some sort of imminent danger. Collectively they tend to create such a fuss that they are viewed by others as being fragile as snowflakes, requiring extra special care, concern, and accommodation. Some have been catered to for so long that it is inconceivable to them that they should ever be thwarted in whatever they want. Disappointment is unacceptable.
Beyond what we can readily observe in today’s culture, what’s happening within the body of Christ? How are we faring? Many are facing truly tough circumstances they never imagined when they were 20 or so. Sometimes those individual “snowflakes” in life pile up only to come crashing down on us like an avalanche. That’s when our faith is tested and tried to see what it is comprised of. Who and where is our Rock that is even more reliable and permanent than that icy snowbank? Are we sufficiently grounded in Jesus that whatever comes upon us, we will not be uprooted? Events may bring sadness, but our hope must be built on nothing less than Jesus’ promises and finished work on the cross. When we take a moment to recall who we are in Christ, we find fresh strength surging back into our souls and spirits that had been temporarily missing in action. Just one of God’s mighty truths has the power to send the enemy packing, and propels us into victory mode. God tells us He has loved us with an everlasting love, and assures us that His grace is sufficient for us saying His power is perfected in weakness.
We may indeed have some challenging times ahead. But we can face them head on with confidence and without wavering, knowing that the battle is not ours but the Lord’s. He will never fail us.
May peace and confidence be yours,