“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.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work …” (Job 37:5-7)
I live in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Those of you who have been to my house or who follow me on Facebook are familiar with the grand westward vista from my rear deck. But the barrenness of winter renders that scene much less overwhelming as vibrant greens turn to muted browns and grays, flowers which added such color in the spring and summer shrivel up and die, and the leaves of autumn fall to the ground, leaving the trees stripped bare.
But then, as he did this past weekend, God is able to transform it all overnight into an unmatched masterpiece.
As I pondered that this morning, I thought about the words of Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” I’m reminded that all my righteous acts- those things I do in the hopes of pleasing God- are as “filthy rags” in God’s eyes. (Is. 64:6) And that “without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6)
But when we do the “works God requires”, which Jesus says is “to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28), our filthy rags are cast aside. Then just as that scene from my deck was transformed overnight, we are transformed into “God’s masterpiece … created anew in Christ”. (Eph. 2:10)
After we shoveled to the top of our driveway Saturday and looked back, I remarked to my wife that our house had never looked better. It’s reassuring to know that on the day I accepted Christ into my heart and he washed away my sins, The Lord said the same thing about me.
“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7 )
Note: All Scripture from the New International Version (NIV)