Our family spent months preparing for this vacation! We had been living in Singapore for two and a half years and had one big trip planned before returning to the States.
We were hot! All the time. Singapore is one degree North of the Equator so you can imagine the seasons we experienced…hot, hotter, and humid and hot. We wanted somewhere cool. No, not cool…cold! We dreamt of skiing and sledding and horse drawn carriages. The thought of burning wood crackling in a roaring fireplace and evening walks through the snow brought giddy laughter to our home. We couldn’t wait.
Our flight touched down in Munich, Germany as excitement woke us from our jetlagged stupors. We made our way to the rental car kiosk and, with keys in hand, stepped out in to that winter air. We were assaulted with a cold our children had never felt before. Cold air stung their airways and burned their noses. But for me, suddenly it felt like I could breathe again. I had not realized how my body had adjusted to the stifling, humid air of Southeast Asia and now the pillow had been lifted and I could breathe deep.
We drove to a beautiful military hotel, located at the base of the Bavarian Alps. We ventured out and within twenty minutes crossed in to Austria. We stopped for lunch in a village tucked neatly into the base of breathtaking mountain peaks. The charm and twinkling lights of the village pulled us outside to explore. We walked and pulled our kids on sleds through that little town.
And snow fell. And fell some more until a blizzard was upon us.
Snow sprinkled over us like powdered sugar, each flake kissing our skin and it felt oh so good! I stood on that cobblestone street listening to the silence that accompanies a snowstorm. The peace that comes with the snow.
As I meandered through those village streets, my mind wandered toward forgiveness and the Lord’s claim of washing us white as snow. As one who finds it difficult to accept the Lord’s forgiveness for that one thing, I paused at the village church and found a bench hidden in its shadows.
I watched how the snowflakes covered the ugly mud and dirt-caked streets.
I watched as snow covered the browning bushes and leafless trees.
I watched a transformation take place before my very eyes. Everything beautiful once again.
I found myself praying the words of Psalm 51:7 “wash me and I will be whiter than snow.”
And I knew the Lord has that power in my own life, in my own heart…to make all things white again. To wash away the stains of sin on my heart, the blemishes in my soul, and make it all white as snow.
I watched as the snow fell over me and covered me white. My mittens blanketed with powdery flakes, my eyelashes sparkled with snow turned ice, and I released all of those sins I never accept forgiveness for….for that one thing I have yet to believe God forgives me of.
And I accept His forgiveness there on that bench. A calm peace followed. Just as a night full of snowflakes brings calm and quiet, a still peace wrapped around me like a cashmere throw as I bundled myself in the Lord’s forgiveness. The Lord freed me from the stale oppression sin smothered upon me. I inhaled deep.
Everything beautiful once again.