Where I live we recently experienced a couple of blizzards. The first was a two-day blizzard that dropped a little more than eighteen inches of snow with howling winds that gusted to fifty miles per hour. As if that wasn’t bad enough for many of the farmers and ranchers in my area of the world, it was also the beginning of the season for baby calves to be born. I live in Nebraska and we have many who raise cattle here. Snow can be a danger to a new-born calf, thankfully the temperature remained in the twenties and that helped. School was cancelled for three days and businesses didn’t open, also highways and interstates were closed for a while. Some homes lost electricity but we were fortunate that we did not, and I am thankful that we didn’t have to go without heat.
My son loves snow and so he was a happy camper when he spent seven hours clearing the drifts of snow left in my driveway. I am thankful that he loves snow so much! Toward the end he was getting tired and so a couple of his friends from the neighborhood brought their shovel and helped him the last hour or so. What an encouragement this was to him and to me. I was especially thankful when their Mom joined in and helped get enough space for my car to clear the sides of the snow piles so I could reach the street. I had just baked a fresh loaf of banana bread and so I sent it home with the lovely little family as a way to thank them for remembering to check on us and for their kind help especially since Mama wouldn’t allow me to pay her sons for their help. In fact the eldest son told me that they hadn’t done that much work and that my son had done most of it. I was touched by his honesty. This made me think of how we Christians are to take care of each other and watch out for each other and love each other.
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world, James 1:27, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).
Actually as a divorced woman who is approaching elderly years and raising an orphan whom I adopted from China, this verse means a lot to me personally. My adult children currently all live in different States so I really appreciated the kindness of a Christian Mother and her two sons coming to check on us and to lend a helping hand to clear the snow so I can drive out of my garage. My son appreciated their help and encouragement also. But there is another scripture we need to look at that helps explain what I mean about taking care of each other.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, 1 John 4:7-14, (NASB).
In worldly thinking love means sex and what you can do for me. In Christian thinking love means something entirely different. The Apostle John wrote a lot about love and we can all learn something from his example and writings. If we say that we are Christians yet we don’t extend ourselves to helping others in every day circumstances then we are not really showing love. Love is not selfish, it is the opposite, it is extending ourselves to reach out and to give something to others that is of value to us. Sometimes this is money or clothing or food and sometimes it is our time. The Christian Mom and her two sons gave something of value when they gave their time and their energy to helping my son who was getting tired and cold after so many hours of working to shovel all that snow without a snow blower. They showed Gods love to me and to my son.
I am thankful that there is a Mom who is teaching her sons by her own example to keep God’s love alive and growing in their hearts. I am thankful that my son shows such love toward me in his willing attitude to spend all day working on clearing the snow because he knew I could not do it and the man I called to come clear it was so overwhelmed with calls that he simply couldn’t come and help. I learned something else from this blizzard experience that I want to share with you.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:4-7, (NASB).
I learned that my worry and concern that there was too much snow for my son to handle clearing with only a snow shovel was all under control by God but I didn’t see it. I felt relief when the man I called to ask for help said that he would try to make it over to help but then when the hours were flying by and he wasn’t able to come I began to worry. So I prayed to God for help and tried not to be anxious or to worry. I have to tell you that when I saw two young boys out helping my son I was not exactly overjoyed because my prayer had been for a man with a snowplow and snow blower to show up. But God showed me that three boys joined by a Christian Mama a little later was more than enough to meet my need. While my plan wasn’t that my son would work all day on the driveway it was something that God knew he could do. My plan was for my son to have some time to play in the snow and not work but God’s plan was that my son had fun while he was working and came away from the experience with knowing that he had done all that work and it felt good. I have learned that God knows what He is doing when working in our lives and best of all, school was cancelled the next day as well so that my son did get to build his snow fort. Funny thing though, he only spent three hours playing in the snow and it was enough.
Living through the Blizzard was a lesson in learning to trust in Jesus, learning to trust in God and learning that my son is not incapable of anything he sets his mind to do. How wonderful is that! Until next time…Katherine