Let it Snow!
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” —Isaiah 55:10, 11, NIV.
Spring brings with it an uncertainty with the dawn of each new day. Has it snowed overnight? Will it rain? Here in more northern climes, we are never quite sure until June that we won’t wake up to a blanket of white on the ground. Even then there isn’t any guarantee; some people remember snow in July! We grumbled a bit when it snowed heavily this past Easter weekend. At the same time we remember last summer when a Winter almost devoid of snow and a painfully dry Spring meant a summer of dry forests and the constant danger of forest fires even before summer began. In a part of the world where civilization comes surrounded by trees, forest fires are not taken lightly.
If the forest doesn’t flourish, the wild animals brave the town in search of food. Snow and rain are, in the end, a critical part of keeping wildlife and human life content, and safe, in their own environments.
In these verses, Isaiah describes the cycle of life in nature and then uses it as an illustration to show us the cycle of life in the spiritual world. God’s Word comes like snow and rain to soak the human mind and heart, to plant good seed in prepared ground so that it will produce an abundant harvest of justice and righteousness. The Word of God protects the one who receives it from danger by providing wise counsel and revealing safe pathways on which to travel through life.
Yesterday, as I prayed before our church service, I asked God to bless His Word with what I believe in the King James version is called “signs following.” The New International Version says it this way: “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it” —Mark 16:26, NIV.
Just as the coming of the snow and rain are a guarantee of a healthy and flourishing earth, so the unadulterated Word of God delivers a rich harvest that produces evidence of new life and renewed vigor as it takes root in the lives of those who hear and apply it.
And that’s a promise.