(First off, apologies for not posting this sooner during the beginning of the year– things got a little crazy busy for me.)
Who doesn’t love the comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes? Some of my favorites in the series are of Calvin working with snow, building snowmen and snow forts with Hobbes, and, perhaps the one of the more relatable scenes, Calvin griping over snow (or, more specifically, lack thereof.); I tend to be in rare agreement with Calvin on such occasions– if it has to be this cold out, we simply NEED snow.
There’s something magical about wintery weather, sometimes, concerning snow: it’s cold enough to nip at our bare little fingers, ears, and noses until they’re bright crimson, yet, when snowflakes start drifting downwards, like manna from the heavens, it almost makes standing out in the icy tundra worth it (especially if they’re drifting down near a lamppost– reminds me of Narnia 🙂 ). You need to endure the sting of winter’s chill to witness the true beauty of the snowflakes.
It reminds me of what we as Christians, as humans, have to endure through life, even as we transition into the New Year. Yes, often the start of a brand new year is cause for celebration– but troubles still can occur. Trials and tribulations are tossed our way. Heartbreak, tragedy, lies and chaos unexpectedly rush into us like strong, stinging winter wind. But we sometimes forget about something– there is always hope, even when it seems hopeless. Always God’s love, even if it seems destitute, like nobody cares. That, friends, is what snowflakes remind me of: beauty, hope, and God’s love for us. At times, God is watching our character to see what we’ll do, if we’re willing to be brave and stand firm in the storm to get even a glimpse of His Love and hope for us, or if we’ll back down. Some will go “indoors,” where it’s a nice, cozy, and safe little comfort zone, thinking they can still enjoy themselves and please God. But the reality is this: We NEED to go all-out for Him. Sometimes, you need to tough out the the chill to get to the results, and to get closer to God. That’s what truly counts.
All of this reminds me of another Calvin and Hobbes strip; the one picture of it posted above, in fact. Calvin and Hobbes talk about how the snow wiped everything recognizable out, and how everything’s now like a clean, white page of paper to write on, and, like the snow, the day ahead of them is an exciting one filled with brand-new possibilities. (I think it appropriate that this was Mr. Watterson’s last strip of the series, and appropriately timed with the new year.) As believers, we must look beyond the hurts of this world, to Jesus, who, like snow, can give us a clean slate, more hope and better possibilities in this world (and the next!) than we could ever ask or imagine. This does not mean our life will be entirely pleasant, or trouble-free, but Jesus does promise to always be with us, and that He will help us through our sin, sorrows and snares. It is only a matter of letting Him help, and faith in Him. We can go it our own way, playing it safe from life’s raging storms “indoors”, or be brave. Take the leap of faith and courage. And leap into the loving arms of Jesus, Who will never forsake you.
Wishing you all a blessed (albeit belated) New Year!