Recently an ice and snow storm hit. Within hours, the grounds around my apartment complex became blanketed by whiteness. All the dead leaves, discarded cigarette butts, dog poop that owners never scoop, and fast food trash blown in from down the street disappeared underneath a sheet or pure beauty. From a distance, that is.
If you dared to walk out into it,and bent down to look more closely, you could almost see what lay underneath. You could tell something was under the white ice glistening in the sun. But even then, you really couldn’t discern everything that was hidden, just the things that were closest to the top, like grass blades.
As I gazed out onto this stark flawlessness I thought of the verse that God would make our sins, thought crimson, white as snow. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross covers us just as this snow and ice covered the ground. Yet, our sinful nature- the dirty ground- still lies underneath it all. So does the garbage we still carry around that we have yet to clean up.
How often do we present ourselves as pure and perfect, yet deep down lurking underneath our public facade are hurts, regrets and anger that are littering our life in Christ? Are any of us really that pure in heart and white in soul?
Perhaps not in this life, but nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is at work underneath to help us deal with the junk. Little by little , God’s Spirit is working on us to where, when we do meet Christ in the sky or at our death, we can be clean, pure and white. In the original Greek, I am told by those who have studied it, the New Testament word for salvation is used in both present and future tense. God is working His purpose out, outside of our temporal time.
We were saved on the Cross when Christ took on the sins of the world- but those sins included the residual effect we have yet to deal with as well as the ones we have yet to commit. Granted, as we grow in Christ, they should be less and less a part of our lives. There will be less to liter up our faith. But we are not yet perfectly snow-white, are we? Not in this life. We are daily in need of a Savior because we live in a fallen and dirty world.
When the ice and snow melted, the dead leaves, dog poop and trash reappeared on my apartment complex lawns. The yard crew got to work to rake and pick it all up- that’s their job. Jesus doesn’t have to wait. His Spirit begins the cleansing as soon as we let Him into our hearts. His purity covers us and reflects the Father’s Light into the world, just as the ice crystals in the snow reflected the sunlight. Meanwhile underneath it all, our Lord is working to help us pick up our lives and clean up our act.
More and more, when people see us, they will see purity of heart and whiteness of conscience.
When our lives end, hopefully only the pureness of Jesus will be visible. All that was our old nature will have been cleared away by our life spent in Him.