I love the beauty God provides in winter. Don’t get me wrong, I used to tolerate winter at best. I don’t like to be cold. Matter of fact, I can pick out a draft in the room before anyone else – just ask my family. My fear of slipping, falling and hurting myself is all too real. I don’t like dreary weather. So why do I love the beauty of winter? The gloomy, cloudy days growing up in Michigan made moving to Iowa winter sunshine a real blessing. The blanket of snow provides an excellent means of “sneaking” up on animals to get a closer view. The intricacies that are created by God in winter are truly amazing.
I just finished my 3 mile hike in the woods and down to the river. I heard woodpeckers, saw an owl, peregrine falcon, eagle and evidence of deer, rabbit, raccoons and otters. Then there was the wonder as the ice has begun to melt and hangs up about 2 inches above the river, making incredible patterns and shapes. There are bubbles in the ice. The birds are gathering around birdfeeders. Cats are sunning themselves in the sunny windows.
The Book of Job has provided me with a wealth of insight and reminders of God’s abundant blessings in my life. I know I am too much like Job when it comes to questioning God’s wisdom as recorded in Job 31. Then Elihu reminds Job and his friends of God’s amazing love and incredible power (Job 32-37). It is in these verses from Job 37 I see God’s hand in the beauty of winter:
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
He does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ [vs 5-6 NIV]
Then everyone stops working
so they can watch His power.
(I love this image of pausing to look at God’s majesty.)
The stormy wind comes from its chamber,
and the driving winds bring the cold.
God’s breath sends the ice,
freezing wide expanses of water.
He loads the clouds with moisture,
and they flash with His lightning.
The clouds churn about at His direction.
They do whatever He commands throughout the earth. [ vs 7-12 NLT]
Just take a moment to picture what it must be like for God’s breath to create the ice. Living near the river we often enjoy hoar frost during January. It truly looks as if someone has breathed on everything and given it a frosty coating of ice crystals. Or as Psalm 147:16 describes it as scattering frost upon the ground like ashes. You know what it is like to take ash and let it blow in the wind – it goes everywhere. Look at these descriptions of God’s creativity portrayed in Psalm 147:16-18 from the New Living Translation:
He sends the snow like white wool;
He scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
He hurls the hail like stones.
Who can stand against His freezing cold?
Then, at His command, it all melts.
He sends His winds, and the ice thaws.
I am awed by the incredible delicacy of creation and the majestic power of weather – all created by God. I’ve learned the past 3 winters to bundle up tight, wear several layers, get out the Thinsulate gloves and face mask to keep me warm. I have even been known to take handwarmers with me just so I can head outside, camera in hand, and thoroughly bask in God’s gift of artistic love shown to us. I hope you take time to enjoy His abundant blessings in His indescribable creation as well ~ Faye