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From The Pastor's Desk

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Treasures of Snow

Over the last couple of months, we have been inundated with snow. I read a news article recently that noted that most snow plowing contracts have a cap of 250-300 cm of snow after which the client will be required to pay an additional fee. Apparently Ottawa has reached the limit this season so that snow removal contractors are now charging the additional fee.  I am not surprised, for my back is protesting how much I have had to shovel recently. And it is not just shoveling it that is frustrating. Trying to get around in it is equally stressful.  Blizzard like conditions have forced me to cancel plans, reschedule flights and even stop mid journey to wait out the storm! How many accidents have we read about because of blowing snow and winter whiteouts!

But there are positives too for some. A “snow day” brings joy to every school student [and teacher]! Similarly, skiers and snowmobilers get excited when there is plenty of the “white stuff.” Even our dog (now deceased) used to love frolicking in it. Farmers are usually glad that there is a good amount to replenish the water table in the spring runoff. And who can deny that it makes for a beautiful landscape when it covers the fields and forests and the sun is shining upon it.

The Bible has an interesting comment about snow. In the book of Job, God asked Job “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow?” It appears that God is referring to some amazing things about it. And there are some incredible facts to be noted. For instance, a Readers Digest article says, “it’s science. The water molecules that snowflakes are made of can only fit together in a way that results in a six-sided ice crystal.”[i] So all snowflakes are six sided. Or again the article points out that snowflakes are not really white. As water crystals they are translucent “so when light passes through, it bends and bounces off each individual crystal. The entire spectrum of light is reflected back to our eyes, and we see white snow.”[ii] While apparently it is not accurate to say that there are no two snowflakes alike (using a microscope scientists have been able to identify exact replicas), it is fair to say that there are a huge variety of different shapes. And just imagine that 75% of the world’s fresh water is found in the snow and ice (including glaciers) that is found on the earth’s surface.

When we check the weather forecast and hear that snow is coming, it usually is accounted for by weather systems that are moving through the area. And that certainly is the secondary cause of snow. But the Bible says that ultimately God is responsible for the snow. The psalmist writes, “He spreads the snow like wool
    and scatters the frost like ashes.
 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
    Who can withstand his icy blast? (Ps 147:16-17).

And elsewhere he says that even the snow and wind do God’s bidding (Ps 148:8). So whether we are complaining about the snow or expressing our glee for it, maybe all of us can be reminded of the greatness of the God who is its ultimate designer and creator. That ought to cause us to worship him!

 

[i] Article accessed at https://www.rd.com/culture/fun-snow-facts/ on Feb 20, 2019.

[ii] ibid