As I write this I am looking out of my study window at the snowy scene outside. Snow is one of those things that can divide the nation! Some people love it – they love the way it transforms the world into a winter wonderland, making everything look clean, white and sparkly (until it melts of course!)
Other people hate it – they see it as a disruption and a danger that stops normal life carrying on and indeed it can do exactly that.
Growing up in Scotland snow was a far more regular occurrence and I have to say it really didn’t cause the same sort of disruption that it does here. I don’t remember once not going to school because of snow and life for the majority of people carried on as normal.
Now of course in this pandemic season, normal is itself a contentious term! People talk about the new normal – whatever that is? We have experienced far more disruption to our lives over this last year than any amount of snow could ever bring. The majority of us don’t welcome disruption to our lives. We like normality, which of course can mean very different things to different people. Most of us just want to get on with our lives as best we can.
When we accept Jesus into our lives and our hearts we are willingly accepting disruption, even if we don’t at first realise it! Jesus is the ultimate disruptive force. Scripture is full of examples of how He disrupted the lives of his followers, how He transformed the lives of those He healed. When His disciples made the decision to follow Him they discarded any semblance of a normal life in doing so and I wonder if there were ever moments they regretted that decision!
When we first commit ourselves to Jesus it can feel like a fresh snowfall – all sparkly and transformative, making everything new and shiny. Becoming a Christian does just that – our lives are renewed and made beautiful. But just like that snowfall, we must also be prepared for disruption that doesn’t always feel very comfortable because God calls us to step out into a new normal which can be unpredictable and at times a little bit scary! A bit like going for a walk in the snow – we know the path is there, but we can’t always see it. It’s at those times that we need to literally step out in faith, to trust God and to know that He is alongside us, ready to catch us if we do slip and stumble in our journey to follow Him.
Snow eventually melts and when it does it becomes brown and sludgy and quite ugly. That first freshness ebbs away and before we know it, it’s vanished, leaving the world looking pretty much as it always has done.
But the wonderful disruptive presence of Jesus never melts away. It continues to make our lives sparkle, it continues to transform us in ways we can’t imagine. Just like going for a walk on a snowy day, following Jesus brings risk. However, it’s a risk worth taking because from the moment we take that first tentative step, just edging our way forward, Jesus is right by our side, holding on to us, supporting us and most importantly loving us, no matter how many times we falter.
So on a day when the world does indeed have a sparkly white covering I will confess I am indeed a big fan of snow- but not half as big a fan as I am of Jesus!