This past week, our area was blanketed with snow, the thick, fluffy kind that turned our everyday landscapes into breathtaking scenes like the one at the top of this blogpost (the view out my front window). Since I live in North Carolina in a region that rarely experiences these kinds of snowfalls, everything came to a screeching halt. The world became quiet and still for a while. School was cancelled, businesses closed, and vehicles stayed off the roads.
The 4 to 5 inches of snow offered me to experience the blessing of being alone in the stillness. My husband and daughter were out of the country on a mission trip. My other daughter was out of town. My married daughter was happily tucked away in another city with her husband. My son was away at college. I was steeped in the quiet stillness (except for the company of two big, slobbery dogs). I found a special joy in embracing the snow because it reminded me of some vital truths.
The Lord blesses us with stillness.
During the snow, I stayed at home and enjoyed the Lord’s presence throughout each day. I slowed down, savoring each moment, talking with the Lord, thanking Him for His great love that sustains me in everything. I wasn’t dashing around to appointments, trying to complete my “to do” list. I got to experience what it says in Psalm 46:10: I got to be still and know that He is God.
That greater realization reminded me how the Lord has set us free from works. The literal translation of Psalm 46:10, NASB, is “Cease striving, and know that I am God.” We must quit working, trying to earn God’s favor. We don’t have to do anything because the work has already been done on the cross by Jesus. We can “let go” (of works) and “sink into, relax, and be quiet [rest]” in what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf. Those are the definitions of the original words for “cease striving” in the Bible.
The Lord creates a beautiful, new landscape in the stillness.
As I watched the transformation in nature around me and in the atmosphere inside my home, I thanked God for the way He makes all things new. “Says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18, NASB). Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is enough to pay for our sins. His resurrection is proof that His payment was sufficient.
If we believe that truth, a special transaction occurs, and we are changed: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB). We are forever changed, destined for a forever home with Jesus. We are blanketed with His righteousness, like the snow that covers the ground. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB).
The Lord allows us to delight in Him.
I was stopped from working during the snow. It was a season of rest and restoration. In the same way, each of us can continually enjoy a rest from “works,” trying to earn the Lord’s love and approval. We are loved and approved in Jesus. We are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6, KJV), and no one can snatch us out of His hand (John 10-28-29, NASB). We can admit we need Him, receive Him, and choose to live the rest of our lives under His leadership.
Instead of working, we now get to delight in the Lord and what He has accomplished for us. We can rest from works and rejoice in the work that Jesus did on our behalf. “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10, NASB). We don’t approach a holy God based on our own works, but on the completed work of Jesus. When we do, we find ourselves delighting in the Lord—even more so than the beauty of new-fallen snow!
Question: Have you allowed the Lord to free you from working to please Him? Have you accepted His free gift of new life in Jesus? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King