Big, fat, heavy flakes chased the last few November days off of the calendar. Since it gets dark so early this time of the year, it surprised my youngest daughter to look out the window and find the ground covered in white.
The first snowfall of the winter in the North is magical.
“Let’s go make a snowman!”
With that, my daughter and I bundled up and headed out. We chased our crazy goldendoodle, who loves the snow more than any human possibly could, as she raced through the yard, making sure her face was covered with it at all times. Laughter and giggles danced around our yard, and we rolled and stacked the first snowman of the winter.
The downfall of the first snowfall is it usually melts quickly, because the ground is not frozen enough to sustain a white blanket covering for very long. But oh, while it lasts, it’s pure joy.
We took a selfie, my daughter and I, and her big smile relieved my heart. She hadn’t been so merry when I decided to spend some quality time, just she and I, that evening. The junior high years are full of tears and hard things.
Sometimes, all we need is the magic of the first fluffy snow to lighten our spirits: warm hugs and hot cocoa and Christmas movies cuddled up at home with the ones we love. I love living where there are four full seasons, because it reminds me to seize what I love about each one until it fades into the next.
The definition of seize is: “to take hold of suddenly or forcibly; grasp.” It also means, “to grasp mentally; understand clearly and completely.” There’s a lot to be said about our time, and how we are willing to spend it. God is purposeful, layering opportunities into each day of our lives for us to seize and embrace — things which He knows will bring joy to our hearts and peace to our souls on weary days when all we want to do is hide under a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.
Salvation, in the context of Acts 4:12, means, “deliverance, preservation, and safety.” Christ calls us to seize our salvation – our deliverance, preservation and safety – and to run after Him with all of we have. These elements, in every season, are found in Him alone. Our call to share the gospel is a difficult charge, one we can only accomplish by His will and through His hand on our lives. We fight our flesh to seize His strength in our lives.
But when we allow the Lord to guide our daily steps, we are the ones who are blessed. Inconvenience is often a distraction so we will stay hidden from the laughter and the joy God has laced into our days. We have time. Our time is God’s time. He is the Author of it! Who are we to say we don’t have time for what He has planned?
The heart of the gospel is our willingness to share it. To speak Scripture and bring the Truth to those who don’t know Jesus. But we also witness to Christ in the way we pause to love the people He has placed in our lives. The day my daughter and I made a snowman and chased around the dog in the snow, she was heartbroken over a middle school matter. I could have made other plans that evening, but when we seek the Lord with all of our hearts, He is faithful to guide us when the opportunity to love someone near to us arises. If we’re open to listening, and obediently following Him, the end result is always better than our previous plans.
Life is meant to be lived in a way which brings honor and glory to the Author and Creator of it – of us! Especially during the holiday season, it’s easy and understandable to get caught up in commitments and checklists. By staying closest to the Savior, we can tell when there is something else He has for us to do.
“Oh no, he’s melting already!”
The very next morning, our inaugural snowman had melted and toppled over already. The blinking scarf we tied on his neck was buried in the snow.
That first magical winter snow didn’t last very long before the green grass reappeared and all of the sparkling white magic holding on to a carrot nose and a blueberry smile melted away.
The memory, and the snowman selfie, will remain with us for a very long time. Moreover, the way her momma dropped her agenda to play in the snow and dance through the house to make her cackle that night will probably last longer than I!
Paul wrote, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news?” (Romans 10:15).
The good news he is referring to is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to go and share it, not only with the far corners of the world who don’t know Him, but with those God has placed in our daily lives! We don’t have to travel across oceans to find people to preach the Gospel to. Isaiah 52:7 says:
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
Isaiah is referring to the way people would run from the battlefield with news, in this particular case, the return from the exile (NIV Study). When we are hurt and feeling isolated, and someone takes the time to come alongside us in our pain, we are witnessing the sharing of the gospel. All love is rooted in Christ, whether we acknowledge who He is or not.
Psalm 96:10 says, “Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns.’ The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”
God reigns sovereign. The world as we know it lies in His capable hands and compassionate control.
Acts 4:13 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
When my daughter needed my comfort, I could trust God had prepared my heart for the task at hand. Sharing the Gospel with the ones we love is a submission to our own authority in exchange for what God can accomplish through us. The best way to prepare for all the Lord has for us is to spend as much time with Him as possible, and then spend time with the people He has placed in our lives. Our relationship with the people around us is built on the same foundation – time.
In order to know someone, we must spend time getting to know them, listening to them, and sharing conversation. Over time, a bond develops, and God moves yet another set of people into place to love one another the way He intended. If we rush into our worldly agendas, which we have the choice and free will to do, we miss out on what God has for us to do.
We cannot serve two masters in life. It’s either God’s plan or our calendar. The way we manage the minutes allotted each day is not the same as the God who can stretch time! Nothing is impossible for our great God. Imagine the work He has for us to do, here on earth. Work which, if we follow the standards of the world, we may never get to experience.
The Voice paraphrase of Acts 4:13-14 says,
“Now the leaders were surprised and confused. They looked at Peter and John and realized they were typical peasants - uneducated, utterly ordinary fellows - with extraordinary confidence. The leaders recognized them as companions of Jesus, then they turned their attention to the third man standing beside them - recently lame, now standing tall and healthy. What could they say in response to all this?”
There’s a popular saying, “Seize the day.” Each morning, let us wake to the tune, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24) We seize the day when we submit to His will in our lives. And when we submit to His will in our lives, we bring glory to Him as we were created to.
Seize the snow. Seize the tiny moments and opportunities in life to embrace the love of Christ and pass it on. The words of the Gospel are important, but so is the heart of His message – love! Seize the opportunity to love one another, in every season.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Guasor
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ as a freelance writer, blogger at Sunny&80, and author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” and “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” and “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ.” She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her passion to write. A member of Faith Church in Sandusky, OH, she serves as Communications Director, and leads Bible studies for women and teen girls. Meg is a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, living by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters and golden doodle.