On Tuesday night as I headed to bed I glanced through the frosted glass in our front door and just saw nothing but white - slightly confused I went back into the living room and drew back the curtains to see that since I had closed them snow had fallen, settled on the ground and was still continuing to fall in big fat fluffy flakes. I went up to bed wondering how deep it would be when I woke up! By Wednesday morning, when baby bear got her first sighting of snow, we were fully wrapped in a thick blanket of it. However I got a sneak peek of it before that, at 2:30am I got woken by my sweet baby bear's teething pains! After I had comforted her back to sleep I had a look out of the back bedroom window - the gardens were lit up by the moon reflecting off all the snow now thickly covering everything and still falling. It was a beautiful sight, fresh snow - completely undisturbed, no foot prints, tyre marks or holes where school children have forged out snowballs. Almost magical and reminiscent of Narnia.
Pure white and untouched snow, always reminds me of a favourite line in scripture "...though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;" [Isaiah 1:18, ESV] such a wonderful and incredible promise from God. That all sin, although it appears deep dark red, can be wiped out by the hand of God leaving us perfectly clean, like freshly fallen snow. Joy to my soul! I adore the song from Bethel Music called "For the cross" that uses the words - you can listen to it on YouTube here. Have a listen and soak in the truth and pure joy of the lyrics! [& I am always amazed how when I am down on myself remembering past mistakes and feeling I've failed the Lord yet again, I will get in the car and start the engine - the music system pops on and the CD starts at that this exact track, like a gentle comfort from the Lord!]
Back to Isaiah... As this is one of my favourite verses, it's one of the first I chose to 'illustrate' in my journaling Bible. Earlier that morning I had been sat in Starbucks with a friend who was asking me about my journaling Bible - wasn't I scared to stamp in it?! What if it went wrong? How did I get it all so straight etc. I laughed and assured her I had never thought about it that much, if you flick through you'll see all the stamped letters are not perfectly straight - but that's part of it, they are at jaunty angles at times, that's their character - quirky and you have to embrace that. Life's not perfect...
That afternoon I sat down with Isaiah open before me, my favourite alphabet stamps in hand and a deep red ink pad I had bought especially to echo the words. The letters would be really visible on the page, to shout out this perfect promise from God. I started stamping out the verse and on the very first word I messed it up!! The "G" in "though" did not fully stamp out. Rather than leave it I thought I could be clever and line it up perfectly to have a second go and make it perfect - what did that do? I totally messed it up, so the "G" just became a big red blob! I carried on and then ran out of space for "shall" so the second "L" drops down like it is falling off the page! I looked at the page disheartened and cross with myself I had messed up a page containing such an important verse [all of the Bible is important of course, but this verse is especially important to me]! I then thought back to my conversation that morning and had to laugh at myself wondering what had happened to my 'embrace it' attitude.
This page in my journaling Bible is in fact a perfect illustration of the verse. I messed up, then tried to sort it out myself which lead to me making a bigger mess! How many times have I done this in my life, honestly I have lost count! But if you turn back to the Word of God [in this case, the original printed text] you can see it there perfectly laid out. Life isn't perfect, we make mistakes - some big, some small. We all commit sin [Romans 3:23]. But all of those mistakes can be forgiven by Christ, and our scarlet sins can be made as white as snow.