From the Pulpit: Hidden blessings - Part 1

Pastor Dan Deardoff, Blessed Redeemer Lutheran Church

A friend of mine referred to our recent heavy snowfall as a “hidden blessing” and I had to ask what she meant by that. She pointed out that the snow was a blessing for the farmers, as we have suffered dry conditions lately. I had to agree with her that while no one likes to dig out after a snow volcano like we just had, or to drive in a heavy snowfall, snow can indeed be a hidden blessing. It has many blessings for everyone, if we stop to consider them. 

Who else finds snow a hidden blessing, besides farmers and gardeners who depend on snow as an insulation for winter wheat crops and perennial plants? Whole states depend on the snowpack in the mountains for their drinking water. When the snowpack melts, it also helps irrigate crops in the summer. But they aren’t the only ones who consider snow a blessing. Small children find delight in playing in the snow, building snow forts and igloos, and children of all ages can enjoy sledding. I’m sure the people who sell snow gear, skis and snowboards, and who run the ski and tubing slopes look at snow as a Godsend. 

Have you ever thought of the spiritual blessings that snow brings with it? I don’t mean just the tranquil feeling one gets looking at a world transformed into a winter wonderland by a snowfall, or the awesome effect of snow on bare tree branches, making them glisten and sparkle. Snow can also remind us of our sins, and how God covers them like a snowfall covers the ugly bare fields of winter. In Isaiah 1:18 God challenges us, “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” It is one of the great mysteries of life, how the red blood of Christ shed on the cross as our substitute can make us “white as snow” but this is precisely what God promises. 

A snow day can also make us slow down and remind us that as one of my favorite professors used to say, “We are human beings, not human doings.” He meant that we tend to act like our life has no value unless we are doing something, when the truth is that God loves and values us because He is kind and compassionate, not because of what we do. Such thinking, that we have to be always doing something, once caused God to lament in Isaiah 31:15, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” 

I have more to say in next week’s column about the intriguing idea that God sends many “hidden blessings” our way, but this week I want you to consider how snow, even if it left you tired and rearranged your plans, can be a blessing from God. Let it remind you that what God covers up when we repent, namely our sins, can never be uncovered. The next time you see it snow, remember David’s prayer in Psalm 51:7, “wash me, and I will be whiter than snow,” and say a silent prayer thanking God for hidden blessings. 



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