Treasures in Snow

I missed my post last week because, like most other people, I was caught in the whirlwind of change set in motion by a pandemic. The classes that I teach at UA Little Rock suddenly had to go one-hundred-percent online. Online instruction is not the best way for some classes to be taught successfully and American Sign Language is one of those courses. Plans that I had for my own research projects went awry because my observations were set to take place in the community. That means that I have to rethink both of my projects and I’m more than halfway through the spring semester. If I dwell on it too much, I really start feeling sorry for myself. 

While I can complain about the stress that I have been experiencing over the past two weeks, what I am going through pales in comparison when I consider what other people are experiencing. Let’s consider, for example, people who are currently without work. They may have been temporarily laid off without pay and left wondering how they will pay their bills. How about small businesses that are worried about having to permanently close their doors? Let’s not forget the medical professionals who are exposing themselves to this virus so they can keep our families safe. Then, when I think about the families who have lost a loved one because of our current crisis, I feel a sense of shame for feeling sorry for myself. I mean, I did get to enjoy a family FaceTime chat last night and everyone is in good health.

I don’t want this post to focus on the crisis at hand, rather I want to turn the attention to the One who holds the world in His hands. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about the Bible story of the “righteous man,” Job. He found favor in God’s eyes to the point that God bragged on him to the devil. God allowed Job to experience a great loss that was meant to prove that Job had complete trust in Him. When I say that Job experienced great loss, I mean he lost everything except his wife, a few friends, and his life. He lost all his cattle workers through an enemy attack; only one escaped to tell Job what happened. He lost his cattle and those workers to fire with one person surviving to tell Job about the disaster. His children were having a dinner party when a strong wind blew the house over and killed all of them. Job experienced all of this tragedy in one day.

Job’s loss did not stop with grief from losing his children and from losing all of his material things. In the next chapter, Job lost his health. He found himself covered in boils from head to toe. With this went his wife’s trust in the Lord and she tried to convince him to curse God and die. On top of all of that, his friends were not very supportive either. They accused him of being a sinful man and claimed that he was being punished for being ungodly. Can you imagine going through all of that just to have your friends tell you that it’s your fault? 

When I was reading in Job last year, I saw something that I had never noticed in the past. After 37 chapters about Job’s friends giving advice and Job crying about the situation, God decided that it was time to speak to him. Sometimes God talks to us in a whisper, but in Job’s case, He spoke to him out of a whirlwind. His situation seemed like a whirlwind experience, so I find this quite fitting. 

This seems like the perfect example of our current situation; it has been a whirlwind of events. Have the happenings over the past couple of weeks made your head spin? Do you feel like a strong wind has knocked you off-balance? Do you feel overtaken by fear, grief, doubt, anxiety, and uncertainty? If so, let’s take a look at Job 38 and see what God spoke to Job’s situation. God came to him in the whirlwind and spoke to him. “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?  – Job 38:22-23

When I read those verses, my mind became inquisitive. How can there be treasures in snow and hail? Snow is typically used as a metaphor for bitter situations that leave us feeling cold and hail automatically makes me think about destruction. How is that a treasure? I decided to dig deeper into this and consulted the Matthew Henry Commentary. I was surprised by what I found in this extended version of the scripture. It means that God can fight as effectively with snow and hail, if He please, as with thunder and lightning or the sword of an angel! Whoa! What? 

It feels like all weapons have been released on us, health, finances, economy, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and so on. These are weapons of thunder, lightning, and a sword. I want to encourage you not to fret because we believe in a God who can wipe all of this out with a simple snowball. That’s just how much power our God holds. Rest assured that He will be there for you in the midst of chaos. He has not lost control of the situation, He’s just making a snowball.

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” Isaiah 59:1

“For the kingdom [is] the LORD’S: and he [is] the governor among the nations.”  – Psalm 22:28

“The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”  – Exodus 14:14

4 thoughts on “Treasures in Snow

  1. A good and timely word, Katelyn! The Hebrew word “Selah” is a fitting benediction to this post: “to praise” or “pause and reflect upon what has just been said!”

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