It’s rain snowing outside. Which means the DMV has shut down and everyone has gone to the grocery store to stock up on… well, anything. It also means that we’re off work today. And I’m celebrating just as much as the next person. But for a slightly different reason.

For the past 3 or so weeks, I have really fallen off the discipleship bandwagon. Ok so maybe not falling all the way off but let’s just say that my relationship with the snooze button on my alarm clock has gotten more play than my relationship with God in the mornings. And we know what he says about being able to serve two master’s right? In February, I took 2 vacations – one to Disney World with my family, and one to Costa Rica with my friends. I, stupidly, used those vacations as a “break”. A “break” from waking up early and getting His Word first thing in the morning. A “break” from studying about Spiritual Warfare like we’re doing this month in my discipleship class. Yes, you can have a break from work. A break from the mundane. But there is no way in hell I should’ve been taking a break from my quality time with God. And yes, I meant to say in hell.

God has never, ever, ever taken a “break” on me. He didn’t take a break on me when I didn’t fully believe in him and tried to work things out on my own. He didn’t take a break on me when I was only a Christian by name and not in my lifestyle. He didn’t take a break on me when I was playing house with my ex and doing all the things that married people do – except actually be married. He didn’t take a break on me when I was disrespectful to my parents (I’ll admit – that was rare). He didn’t take a break on me when I was getting drunk to the point of no remembrance. He didn’t take a break on me when I was sitting in a jail cell because of said drunkenness. He didn’t take a break on me when I was not working but still traveling and taking vacations. He didn’t take a break on me when I was puffed up with pride and trying to fix other people when I should’ve been fixing myself. He didn’t take a break on me even though I didn’t trust him with my life. God has never, absolutely never, taken a break on me. And who do I think I am to choose an extra nine minutes of sleep (4 times) instead of immediately getting up and giving him the praise by worshipping him with my lifestyle and spending time with him in the mornings?

Thankfully, this snow day provided me with the perfect opportunity to get my life together. My 9-to-5 today consists of getting back in the (discipleship) saddle. The entire morning I have been reading, studying, meditating, praying, journaling… everything I should have been doing for the last few weeks. And how ironic – no, how beautiful is it that this is on a snow day. And everyone knows that the Bible uses snow as a reference to how God’s grace washes us white as snow.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” – Psalm 51:7
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like Crimson, they shall be as wool.” -Isaiah 1:18

But those are the “good” snow verses. No one ever talks about those verses where it compares snow to leprosy. What about in Numbers where it talks about Miriam who “suddenly became leprous, as white as snow.” Now why would snow – something so symbolically tied to being pure – be compared with leprosy?? God, are you sure that’s what you meant to say??

But in reality, it’s the same side of God’s grace coin. The same snow that washes us, that cleanses us – which sounds so nice – is also purifying us, and sanctifying us. And that process is not always pretty. If you are being cleaned – that means you must have been dirty. If you need to be purified, that means there must have been some impurities. The purification process for a diamond involves heat (I’m talking hotter than we’ve ever been, heat), and pressure. And at the end of the day, you would never recognize the unremarkable, dusty piece of coal that it came from in the first place. Because it’s been purified. The leprosy represents God’s judgement, God’s discipline, his correction for Miriam. Only through His discipline could she be sanctified and brought closer to Him. So yes, he meant to use the “white as snow” when describing the leprosy. Because it’s all about our sanctification and the process of becoming more like Him.

Isn’t it ironic that it only snows in Winter? A season that occurs when things die. A season when animals go into hibernation, birds fly south (if I had wings, I’d do it to), nothing brings forth any fruit… for months. And then there’s this purifying, whiter than white, snow. In the midst of gray days, the midst of a season of death, there is this reminder that things can be beautiful. A reminder that no matter what’s going on on the ground, we can be washed whiter than snow.

This reminder (and day off work) is exactly what I needed today. For me, it represents renewal. It represents a promise from God. And I’m ever so grateful for the rain/snow (day). Stay warm and in His word, my friends!