This past Friday the Atlanta area got an early December surprise, SNOWFALL! I realize that people in more northern climates are used to frequent snow so it doesn’t make the headlines like it does down south. But in our area, where it’s not unusual to have several years with no frozen precipitation at all, a dusting of snow is cause for lots of attention (especially from the suddenly self-important meteorologists). Normally in the south, the weather forecasters are seen as Doppler-radar-reading prophets as they herald impending doom and traffic jams anytime there’s the slightest possibility for the white stuff, but this time there was barely a mention of it, let alone accurately predicting the 6 to 8 inches that blanketed some areas of the city.
As people around the Metro area awoke to a sky filled with puffy cascading flakes, social media began to fill with frenzied pictures of snowmen, kids playing on improvised sleds, and tons of toboggan-and-glove-wearing adventures who were suddenly off from work and free to play. It wasn’t too much longer until friends and family members living west of us were texting pictures of their houses, yards and neighborhood that were fast becoming visions resembling Christmas card scenes.
So my kids and I waited. And waited. All day long we anticipated a dip in temperatures that would bring a fresh, clean winter blanket to our house. But outside our windows … rain. No frosty winter surprise. Just cold, soaking, miserable rain.
I wonder, have you found yourself in a similar -but much more serious- situation? Are you surrounded by the excitement and joy of others while all you’re experiencing is a cold soaking rain of disappointment? How are you to push forward in faith, when the hours morph into days as you continue to find yourself in the same murky situation?
Into these frustrated longings, God whispers a reassuring reminder…
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9
And you know, sometimes that has to be enough. Because, the reality of the Christian life… and of life in general… is that we don’t always get to see the earthly reality of fulfilled expectations.
But we do get grace.
And although we can’t always see how at the moment, grace really is enough.
Because … grace does not exist apart from Jesus.
He’s the One who gives us the ability to keep going in extreme situations. And He is the only One who can keep us steadfast when the freezing rains of adversity or the chilling cold of our personal winter rages against us. Instead of blaming the Lord for our circumstances or retreating into despair, we need to learn to take our honest and real pain to Him, and to choose to receive the grace that only He gives… not because anything outside our windows change … but because He changes us and blankets us in a love that never disappoints.
through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
2 Peter 1:2