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July 2 Today’s Reading: Psalm 145-Proverbs 2
God’s Ice, God’s Cold, and God’s Thaw
Everything in God’s creation is designed by infinite wisdom to portray something about the new creation of grace.
“He giveth snow like wool.”
What a strange way to speak of snow! Can cold snow be compared to warm wool? Though the snow is cold, freezing cold, it forms a blanket like wool to protect the unseen vegetation beneath the earth. In fact, the freezing snow is necessary to protect the life and health of the vegetation hidden within the earth that it may revive and thrive at God’s appointed time.
How often have you asked, “Lord, Why do I find such coldness in my soul? Why do such times of lukewarmness engulf my heart? Why am I so often hardened, frozen like the ground covered with snow in the winter?” This, too, is according to the wise design and decree of our God. It is necessary to preserve the life he has planted within, to keep us clinging to Christ as our only Life and our only Salvation. God our heavenly Father gives the snow like wool!
“He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.”
There is a black frost that brings death. We look out at the late spring frost with sadness, because every plant in the garden and every bud in the tree is black with death. The early frost has killed the tender life springing out of the earth. But the hoarfrost, though it burns, it makes everything sparkling white. So it is with our times of spiritual adversity. The more we are compelled to abandon all hope in self and trust our blessed Savior, the more we acknowledge and confess our sin and hope in his righteousness, the more beautifully we sparkle in his whiteness!
“He casteth forth his ice like morsels.”
What ice is this? Is it the light snow that is like a blanket of wool to the earth? Is it the driving sleet that is so painful to feel on your face that you are forced to seek refuge from it? Is it the beating hail that destroys every crop of human planting? Or is this ice the hard freeze of gradual accumulation that breaks weak limbs from the mighty oaks and dead branches from living trees? The ice here refers to every form of ice. Our Father casts it out of the windows of heaven, not as an instrument of destruction, but as morsels of bread for our souls. By hard freezing, breaking trials, inward and outward, he feeds and nourishes our souls.
“Who can stand before his cold?”
When God withdraws his light, nothing is left but darkness; and when the Lord God withdraws the heat of the Sun of Righteousness, nothing is left but a coldness that cannot be thawed by any activity, a coldness that we cannot resist! But blessed be his name forever, that is not the last word about the matter!
“He sendeth out his word, and melteth them.
He causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.”
At the time appointed, as surely as he sent the cold, our faithful God and Savior will send his Word to melt our hearts again before him. He will cause his wind (his Spirit) to blow upon his garden and make it spring forth with life, that the spices may flow out, that he may eat his pleasant fruits! — “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits” (Song of Songs 4:16).