Last Saturday evening a winter storm blew through our part of New Mexico, dropping 8 inches of snow overnight. After the snow we had a cold snap and the nighttime temperature went to -18, so that new snow was frozen pretty solidly.
Living at altitude we are learning that the temperature can swing pretty widely in one day. By Tuesday it was warming up into the mid 30's and yesterday it went from -1 at dawn to 50 in the afternoon. Suffice to say that a lot of snow has melted.
This afternoon I walked from home to the post office and back. It is about a half mile from one place to the other. The sun was shining and it was another beautiful day to be outside.
It was beautiful if you were looking up into the hills, that is. When my gaze went to the ground what I saw was a mess. And because of the mess I had to watch where I was walking for most of the trip. The roads were covered in melted snow and ice. Dirty snow and ice from the sand that was spread so that cars could drive safely. The beauty of Sunday morning is a very distant memory.
This morning my Bible reading was from Zechariah 13. Zechariah was a prophet of the Old Testament who encouraged the exiles returning to Jerusalem to repent and renew their covenant with God. In the last chapters of the book he looks forward to God's promised redemption and he gives this image in verse 1:
"On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness."
Walking outside during winter and seeing the cycle of winter weather, with snow moving from pristine to dirty, again and again until spring breaks forth, reminded me of the cycles of my own life.
I move back and forth between resting in God's forgiveness and seeking His forgiveness. I alternately see myself as He sees me in Christ, and then see myself for who I am here on Earth, a sinner living in a fallen world. A sinner frequently seeking His cleansing.
Zechariah 13:1 reminds me that God's promise in Christ is to one day wash me clean. A washing that will make me whiter than snow, a washing based in Christ's righteousness, so that I can live forever with Him, to His eternal glory. Amen!
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.