Pastor Dan Meilke: What snow can teach us when holding us captive

Published 8:10 am Friday, February 15, 2019

Pastor Dan Mielke

Grace Baptist Church

It seems like snow has been on my mind a lot. I woke up this morning having resigned myself to another plan of mine having been canceled due to the repercussions of snow. As I thought about my change of plans, I realized that the snow and I had much in common. Both of us are subject to forces outside of our control. I realized that I, like the frozen water droplets, were both held captive against our wills. I personally do not believe snow plans to be blown around willy nilly, it simply is unable to be or do anything else.

Pastor Dan Mielke, Grace Baptist Church

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As I thought about our mutual plight, I realized that I may be held captive against my will, but it is not against God’s will, for if He wanted me to follow the plans which I had so carefully laid, the snow would not have hindered them.

As I pondered the inconvenience of another day radically altered by snow, I began to realize my own finiteness. How many of the things I simply ‘had to do’ could truly be put off until tomorrow (or next July when snow is afraid to come because of tornadoes). I also pondered my own arrogance in thinking that my plans were the best plans.

How many times in history has snow altered the best laid plans and even saved nations? I think Americans can be thankful for the Christmas blizzard that concealed Washington’s attack on Trenton and won a monumental victory against the Hessians. The free world can be thankful for the storms and snow that halted Hitler’s advance against Russia. The Bible gives God the credit for ruined plans of war due to snow. “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow…which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22-23)

The knowledge of the beneficial aspects of snow in history, should give me pause to consider that plans made by finite people are just that, finite. Thankfully, I can rejoice in the knowledge that both the snowflake and my own destiny is up to Someone with greater power and wisdom than I could imagine, and I can rejoice in Jesus’ goodness even when He uses snowflakes to change my day.

I also thought about how it must feel to be a snowflake and how hopeless and intimidating this daunting world might seem for a snowflake. Yet I doubt that snow has ever considered doing or being anything else. Snow has never tried to be anything else, and from my observation seems content to be so.  As I watched the wind whipping over a drift, I noticed how tenaciously their tiny frozen tendrils held on to each other until a drift appeared holding several tons of snow suspended in an arch. How amazingly a drift is formed. One snowflake had to decide that it was going to hold its ground, not because of any conscious decision, but because it simply did what it was created to be.

One single snowflake that could be destroyed by a child’s breath soon becomes a formidable mountain that could stop a truck. How does each snowflake know which ones are to stay on the drift and which ones are to continue to blow? This complexity is solved by simply doing what they were created to be. Once again, the snow taught me that I simply need to be what God created me to be and in that submission to my Creator, I find my rest and purpose, even if that purpose is changed by snow.   

So as I nurse my tired back and watch the snow drift over where I just shoveled, I can pause and thank God for the reminder that I am not in control and my job is simply to be what God created me to be, and that is beautiful.

Maybe you have some observations that snow could teach others. Try sharing them and see if it helps both of you think about the wonder of snow and the plans of its Creator.

“For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth.” (Job 37:6)