by Emily Conrad
Leading up to Christmas, the calendar and decorations seemed out of step with the yellowish brown landscape out the window. The landscape did, however, seem to match the grief that accompanied the loss of my grandmother just days before Christmas.
But between Christmas and New Year’s Day, snow fell.
As I draft this post, the sky remains overcast, but the fresh snow, brighter than the clouds overhead, diffuses so much light into the air, I have a shadow, even as I sit away from the window in my dining room, typing to you.
The snow is a fresh start. A layer of light that promises the hours of darkness do not last.
Snow acts as a reminder that though we live in a world of sin and death, our hands stained scarlet with sin, in Christ, we are washed white as snow and will one day walk with Him down streets of gold.
The suffering we experience here has an end date. In the blink of an eye, those who are in Christ will be rescued.
Even now, God can bring light to our circumstances in the dead of winter. He can change the landscape overnight from one of gloom to one of hope.
Sometimes, He does transform our circumstances just like that.
Other times, trials and suffering stretch beyond what we can bear–on our own. But Christ is with us, sustaining, giving strength, promising complete deliverance one day for all who believe.
Sometimes, in the darkness, it’s hard to imagine the beauty of the promises. It’s harder still to imagine them fulfilled.
If you neighborhood is dark right now, remember our Deliverer has already come and secured the victory for all who believe. No matter how deep and dark the night, Jesus walks with us.
Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.
You prepare a feast before me
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.
Psalm 23:4-5, NET
God’s goodness and faithfulness endure. He hears our prayers. He sustains and refreshes us.
The hours of darkness will not last. Hope is on the horizon, and we are not alone. Jesus is God with us, Emmanuel. He is the Good Shepherd who leads us to the pastures and water we so need.
He is our light in the darkness, our hope in suffering.
It does seem fitting that, though the snow missed Christmas here, the fresh layer arrived in time for New Years. I’m thinking about change, about transformation and fresh starts, about new goals and the continuation of old ones.
I’m looking forward to sitting down with God and making plans for 2020. Last year, I penciled in ideas that are meant to play out this year, but some points remain undecided. I sense the white of a fresh start around me, but I don’t know what trail my footprints will leave in the snow. It’s possible that, with other responsibilities, I’ll blog less this year, but I don’t want to hurry the decision.
For now, I’m simply grateful that God has brought us through all this year held. I’m hopeful that better things are in store—if not this year, then certainly in eternity. Though I suspect there will be much good along the way, as there was even in the harder events of 2019.
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Snow drop with blue sky photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash
Snow with red tree photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash
Lamp with snowy background Photo by Mira Kemppainen on Unsplash
Graphics created on Canva.com