Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Divine White Out

“Come now, and let us reason together,
saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow . . ..”
Isaiah 1: 18a

In North Louisiana, we get to build a snowman about as often as the Saints win a Super Bowl.

But there we were recently, waking up on Monday to a Super Bowl title for New Orleans and waking up four mornings later to several inches of snow that had fallen while we slept. Snow, pure and fresh and brand new.

We don t get to see it much down South, so maybe we forget. But white as snow is really, really white.

I’m not sure most of us understand the depth of God’s forgiveness, how clean He makes us. The lack of understanding can’t be a cultural thing or a modern thing; the Judeans had a hard time with it, too.

Maybe it’s because we have a hard time forgiving. We say we’ve forgiven, but we haven’t. So we don’t understand how someone else can forgive and we can’t. We compare God’s ability to forgive with our own.

But God’s nature, unchanging, won’t let Him bypass a contrite heart. When God forgives, He erases sin and memory, just as he erases the clouds from yesterday’s sky.

Because of the cross, God changes our darkness into Light. It doesn’t matter if you were a little bad or on Hell’s paid staff, the blood washes away sin. All of it and every kind. Crimson turned to white.

We quickly made the snow dirty with our snowball fights and snowman building, and by afternoon most of it was gone anyway. But, the picture I kept was the one before we’d walked outside, the white photo God had developed overnight.

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land . . .."
Isaiah 1: 19a

Trust and obey, He tells us. Live in a state of confession and repentance and confidence. Your Father is much more concerned with your future than He is with your past. You can make neither white as snow. He can.