We had our first big snow recently. Heavy, wet snow fell over the course of 2 days. 2 days that Dominic was out of town and my oldest away at college. Yes I cried and whined having to shovel twice in 2 days and still hurt from the after effects. (Old age stinks) 😉
In an effort to embrace this expected season change and colder weather I tried to focus on the positives….most of which included how beautiful the trees look after a heavy snow. The entire block was white and the once brown, dead looking trees, looked vibrant again.
Yesterday I was driving out of town and while some of the snow has melted, most of the trees were still covered. They glistened in the sun and it was a beautiful sight.
And for some reason I had a flash back to a memory long forgotten.
For years as a child, my parents would take us to get a real Christmas tree at a local nursery. Long before trees were available at every Sam’s Club, Home Depot and Costco, there was one special place we would go each year to get our tree.
The smell inside the nursery was heavenly. The front shop was filled with handmade wreaths and trees decorated with ornaments you could purchase…and then there was a special place in the back corner.
If we were lucky there would be a tree in the contained area that had just been flocked that we could see.
For those that don’t know what flocking is, they use a substance that is white and spray it all over the tree, it makes it look like it was snowed upon. Flocked trees were probably double the price of a regular tree.
I knew they weren’t in our budget, but I always thought they were interesting. It felt like those trees were reserved for the elite, the “special” and just knowing that made them desirable to me.
As I was driving yesterday I realized that the trees outside looked like they had been flocked. Covered full in white, so beautiful….and it was a reminder for me.
I have been walking through the past few months feeling like the brown, dead tree.
I know that I am a sinner, we all are I get it…but there are times that the weight of the person that I am is too much. I get stuck in old habits and patterns of behavior that have long been unacceptable, but I tidy up just enough so that I don’t have to deal with the underlying issue.
I place so much emphasis on how things look on the outside that I have ignored the inside, heart issues, for way too long.
Becoming aware, even slightly of the work that now needs to be done, feels overwhelming and I (as is my nature) want to give up.
Sometimes redemption seems impossible, and grace – real, life changing grace, feels out of reach.
And then I get a simple reminder in the picture of some flocked trees that I too am covered by God’s grace.
Isaiah 1:18 says “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Jesus paid for my sins. How quickly I forget that. I get wrapped up in my own emotions and feelings about my present state and forget that the Son of God bore the weight of MY sins when he hung on that cross.
He did it for me.
And as a result, in the eyes of God, I am white as snow.
Now this doesn’t give me free reign to go and continue to allow sin to wage a war inside of me. There are things I can and need to do with God to work towards freedom.
One of the first things is changing my perspective.
I have believed that I was like that dead tree and couldn’t ever see myself as the beautiful flocked tree.
I could only see the sinner, forgetting what grace looks like. I get stuck in the hopeless and don’t know how to move forward.
My eyes need to be fixated on that vision of grace. I need to embrace it for my own life and then be as generous with it for others as God has been with me.
It is a start, and for me at the end of this year….I guess it is the place that I need to be.
Maybe you have been struggling with something too, feeling like that ugly, dead tree for so long that you have forgotten grace is available for you. Friend I am grasping at these truths with all that I have and want you to know that you aren’t alone.
You are beautiful and loved and flocked by His grace.
Photo Credit: JusDaFax