Beyond the Blizzard

by DanWolgemuth on January 25, 2019

A recent onslaught of snow has tugged me back to a reflection I did just over three years ago. Worth noting, three years later, I still have my little Toro…

The snow fell, and it fell, and then in the howling wind it flew.

It’s not often that the weather forecasters in Denver underestimate the power of a winter storm, but they did. So Monday night it was me, my undersized Toro snow blower, and 10 inches of fresh white beauty… with drifts that crested north of my knee.

I like it. The snow. I’m not sure why. But I like it. You can take my lawnmower, but leave me my little Toro snow blower.

Back and forth I go, propelling snow heavenward. Back into the wind that deposited it in my driveway.

The Toro does what it can, and frankly what it was designed to do. That is, to remove most of the snow. But, invariably, a thin layer of snow still remains.

What I’ve come to discover and appreciate is that snow removal in Denver is a team sport; a partnership. Almost without exception, the day after a substantial blast of Winter, we wake to a pristine, clear day. The blue sky is electric, the clouds have escaped to Kansas, and the sun… oh, the amazing Denver sun is magnified in its beauty, and amplified in its intensity and warmth.

This is where the partnership kicks into full gear.

Faster than a microwave oven, the sun bombards the remaining layer of snow. Without regard to the temperature, the sun pours its power in full strength. First the sidewalk, then it sneaks up on the west end of the driveway. Then in continues to inch its way toward the front of the house… like the cavalry coming to the rescue. As the shadows retreat the job is complete. First a liquid, then the sun continues the unrelenting assault until the surface is dry. Perfection. Partnership.

I’ve come to rely and rest in this relationship. My part. The sun’s part. My job is to expose the surface, the sun’s job is transformation and restoration.

True with a Toro, true in life…

My encounters, my interactions, my conversations, my presentations, my articulation will never produce transformation or redemption or restoration. But maybe, just maybe, my goal should always be exposure. If my objective is calibrated to removing enough of the top layer so that the power of the sun can fully accomplish what it is capable of accomplishing… then maybe, just maybe, I understand the power of the Good News. The power of God’s love. The warmth of His grace.

It’s the glory of God that melts the heart of stone. No power of persuasion or strong-armed manipulation can accomplish what the unconstrained love of Jesus can produce.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  ~ John 1:14

His glory. His power. His condescending, redeeming, transforming love.

A partnership. Me and my little Toro; God in His magnificent radiance. I chip through the crusty upper layer; God radiates. God warms and melts. Ice and snow are no match.

I am simply, and only, and humbly, and gratefully doing my best so that when the sun comes up tomorrow morning, the snow that remains has no chance.

Transformation is His job. Mine is to steward well the little Toro snow blower.

The power of the Gospel. The beauty of our Savior. The matchless warmth of His grace.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Sellers February 7, 2019 at 6:04 AM

Your story on snow reminded me of one of the few chapel services that I remember from my time at Columbia Bible College( now Columbia International University) . Our church history teacher was
scheduled to speak at chapel. He never spoke at chapel and I think this was the only chapel service that he spoke at over the four years that I was there. So, we were very interested in what he was going to say. He built his message around those who dug trenches in WW I. He talked about the many hours it took to dig these trenches and all the different directions that they would go. He ended his talk by telling us that much of the ministry that we would be doing in the future would be like digging trenches. We will be tempted to ask, “Why am I doing this?” Then he said, that we will only realize the reason when the Lord sends His showers of blessing as the water of life will flow to those we have prepared to receive it! That is one chapel service I never forgot. We “dig in the snow and begin the process, but God sends the sun and the rain to bring the final victory.
Thanks for all you are doing. I am enjoying active retirement in Iowa City, Iowa. I thank the Lord for all of the water and sun He sent my way in over 25 years of working with YFC from high school on. John


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