Living where we do in southern Minnesota, there’s not a real need to explain how snow works. (We get a refresher every week or so — sometimes more.) Yet with all the complaining, the bellyaching, the schedule delays, changes in plans, and cancellations, it’s easy to forget the positive side of the snow. Not only is it pretty (some of the time — dirty snow is a sad sight), but most importantly of all, it brings moisture that we need. When spring comes, the snow melts and then the fields are ready for planting, and we are provided for for another year.
Snow do not come down without having an effect. It’s impossible. It may not seem like it at the time — it may seem like nothing’s happening, when the world around you is frozen and silent — but it will have its effect at the proper time.
God’s Word is like that. It may not seem like it’s working, but it always is. It accomplishes what God wants, in His time — not always ours! And that’s fine! He knows how best to accomplish His aims. God has perfect patience to wait for the exact right moment. But let’s not deceive ourselves, either: when He knows the right moment has come, He can act fast – faster than any of us can discern or perceive. And when He does act, it’s decisively, because His Holy Spirit is inseparably given with that Word. That’s why it’s so powerful. That’s why His promises, given in that Word, always come true.
And that’s why we have hope. The promises God makes — and keeps — through His Word give us joy. They assure us that one day we will “come forth”, as Isaiah says.
From where will we “come forth”? What does Isaiah mean by this? Ultimately, we will come forth from our graves on the Last Day. We will hear the voice of the Son of Man, and all who hear will live. We will not stay in the “dust of death”, for “God will redeem my life from the grave; He will take me to Himself” (Psalm 49:15).
Then the ancient curse of sin will be finally be fully and completely undone, when “instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree”. In Genesis, God cursed the ground by decreeing that it would bear thorns and thistles instead of allowing mankind to easily grow crops. Weeds are part of the curse of sin, under which we all labor. When Jesus returns, He will undo all the effects of sin, because He has destroyed sin by His death and resurrection. The full fruits of that victory will only be seen on the Last Day, however. Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed; until then, we trust that what we will have fully on the Last Day and in heaven — freedom from sin, peace, joy, and the most intimate communion with God — we have now by faith.
Jesus’ victory over sin includes not only weeds that infest our fields and gardens, but the sin that lives in our own bodies; illnesses and sicknesses of every description; old age; and even death itself. Looking ahead, and knowing what Jesus has won for us, what He’s promised us, and what He will do, we rejoice too. We look forward to the day when all creation rejoices with us, and we will see all of God’s promises kept before our eyes. May He keep us faithful until that day!
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
— Isaiah 55:10-13