This morning, I woke up in what seemed like an entirely different place. I woke up in a winter wonderland. The Hudson Valley had its first big snow of the season, and this Texan couldn’t keep the smile off her face…and at 7am in the morning, this is quite a feat if you know me at all.
I got to spend this snowy morning with Maddy, Ryley, and her parents. Ryley was one of my first friends in CCF at this school, and my second friend to graduate and move on to the next big phase of her life. She will be in Colorado, no less! Congrats and good luck lady! You will do great things, no doubt.
Anyways, as I admired the snow this morning, I realized that I had never seen this campus so still, so quiet. The snow reminded me of a chapter from one of my favorite bible studies, In The Wait, by Holly Holt. The chapter looks at a passage from Isaiah, talking about the distinctive purpose of snow.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” Isaiah 55:10-13
We may not realize it, but snow waters the earth just like rain. Sometimes God speaks to us abundantly, and we are instantly watered and see his work bud and flourish in our lives. Other times, it is the dead of winter and it feels like He is silent. “In some seasons of what feels like silence, God’s words may be like gentle snow falling in our lives without a sound. The snow is accumulating in our souls without realization. In our limited perspective, we feel cold and God’s silence feels colder” (Holt 41). That silent snow is like the rain, and it is accomplishing something in our lives.
God will send his words in snow rather than rain when He knows that instant watering won’t yield the type of fruit that He wants for us. And then, when the time is right, God brings the sunshine to begin melting the snow (Holt 42).
The chapter goes on to talk about the juniper and the myrtle. Both are evergreen variety trees that not only thrive in the winter, but they also produce fruit. Cold temperatures and snow actually produce something that summer and rain never could (Holt 43).
This past week was difficult. One of the most difficult weeks I have had at this school thus far. I have been in Modern Banquets for the past 3 weeks, and in the final week following Thanksgiving break, my group and I transferred to a new kitchen with a new chef, and instead of rising to the challenge, we crumbled under the pressure. No, we did more than crumble. We broke. As individuals and as a team.
There was yelling, there was cursing, there was absolutely no teamwork. People were thinking about their individual tasks and their individual stations, regardless of the fact that collectively, we were putting up 2 complete dishes together.
My class is currently divided. By goals, by work effort, and by nationalities. And as group leader, the divide seems so deep sometimes that I feel at a loss with how to fix it. Everywhere there are problems. Everyone is so at odds with each other that none of us want to work together, nor spend time with each other once class is over.
It’s very hard for me not to care. And it’s very hard for me to leave the problems and focus solely on my life once I leave the kitchen. I care too much and I see too many problems to ignore it.
During this past week, I felt entirely alone. God was seemingly silent, and the angry voices from my classmates seemed to drown out His presence even more. But as I woke up with the silent beauty of snow blanketed across this campus, I realized that I myself am in a season of snow. I don’t know what He is teaching me during this season, but just because His work is silent, doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful. God, you’re teaching me something that I never would’ve experienced without this silent snow. I will rejoice and be glad in you, because you are a true artist. And you work all things out for the good of those that love you. I trust in you, and I am in awe of your creation. Thank you for your silence. Thank you for this peaceful snowy morning. Thank you for your love. I will continue to honor you and seek you.
Life is hard, but I know I’m not doing it alone.
If you are interested, please check out In the Wait, a six-week study on waiting by Heidi Anderson, Courtney Bobko, Holly Holt, Amanda Jass, and Chelsea Ritchie.