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Lamentations 3:22-23

 

I awoke this morning to a world blanketed in snow.

 

Not the thick, heavy duvet cover of last month’s blizzard. Not the kind you are forewarned of and prepared for. Not the kind of snow that falls relentlessly for days on end.

 

This morning’s snow was a surprise. And it was all the more lovely because no one had anticipated it. It was a gift from heaven. Like manna was to the children of Israel.

 

My blanket of white wouldn’t last long. It couldn’t last. The crystal clear blue sky was promise enough of that.

 

But it was mine for the moment. To relish or to let pass by. The choice was mine to make.

 

Would I see the beauty in this moment or would I see instead the inconvenience of a 2-hour school delay? Would this simply become an intrusion on my tightly scheduled day where I was focused on preparing my family to travel out of state to be with friends for the weekend? How would I respond to this morning’s surprise?

 

His mercies are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.

 

On our drive to school this morning, my 16-year old daughter gave voice to her response to this unanticipated gift of beauty. It was more than a whisper, but too reverent and drawn out for a simple statement of fact. Perhaps it was a prayer of praise to the Artist who gave us this gift. “Oh goodness,” she said, “it’s so beautiful.”

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Mornings like this are a gift. A gift of beauty. A gift of grace. I can pass it by without really noticing or stopping to think about it, and it will evaporate. I can kid myself that I will think about it later. That I will enjoy the splendor later. But if I don’t stop in the moment and make a little altar, and give thanks and give praise, then this gift of grace will melt away, even as this new-fallen snow will melt away, and the memory of it will be no more, and the opportunity to stop and worship will have passed me by. And the opportunity for my fingers and my spirit to touch heaven, while my feet are touching earth will have passed me by. If I want to live connected to the Kingdom of God here on earth, I need to open my eyes and see each of these moments as the gift of grace that they are.

 

And so I too stop, and give praise to the ultimate Creator of all beauty. This is not just a gift of beauty and wonder for my eyes to behold this morning. It is a gift of mercy. You alone, oh God, know how my heart needed this touch of your creative power today. It will sustain me like manna all the day long.

 

In the distance, the trees are already shaking off their heavy white coats, trading them for gossamer gowns of silver that sparkle in the sunlight. I know it is only a matter of time before the silvery streams also melt away and the bare trees stand once again proud and strong in their gray-black winter coverings.

 

But this day I have paused to feast at God’s table in the early morning hours. And He has sustained me in His great love.

 

His mercies are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness Lord, unto me.