Fall is such an extraordinary time of year. Though each season has it’s own beauty, there is something invigorating about the colors and crisp autumn air. The sunny days and chilly nights are the perfect match for picking apples and drinking cider. It’s a time for hayrides, bonfires and long walks. We do our best to enjoy every minute for we know that by October’s end, the leaves will have lost their grip on the branches, carpeting the ground to the delight of children … and exercise of adults.
Fall clean-up is an on-going process for those who like to keep the yard and gardens clear until those last few tenacious leaves tumble to the ground. It takes effort, but the work has rewards. After all, who doesn’t love to gather piles of crunchy leaves just for the joy of jumping in and tossing them overhead. Autumn is just plain fun, which helps the hours of clearing away debris a much easier task.
A few years back, I remember picking up the last of the seasons leaves. After the final bag had been tied and stacked, I stood back to view my work and went into the house satisfied that it was finished. At least that’s what I thought. Then the storm came. Rain and winds were fierce and from inside, the sounds of twigs and branches could be heard slapping against the house. By morning, debris was everywhere! Tree branches had fallen and leaves from neighboring yards carried up and over my fence, littering the landscape. I took it all in, sighed and accepted that another round of clean-up would be in order at some point in the week. But, it never came. An unexpected snow storm beat me to it.
The first few flakes gave way to flurries that produced a near white out condition. By morning we were blanketed with snow. Stepping out the back door was like stepping into a pristine “winter” day. There was no visible evidence of the debris that had trashed the yard. It had been clothed in white and even the more prominent branches were encased with the snowy covering, adding beauty to the now pure landscape. The sun’s rays reflected off the snow, its light creating prisms of color, as though a field of diamonds had been dropped with it. “Well, there’s nothing I can do now,” I thought to myself. “The snow has covered this mess.” At once God’s Word came to my heart. “Come now, and let us reason together” says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow …” Isaiah 1:16
We try really hard to clean up our lives. We see the messes we’ve made; the sin, the attitudes, the failures and set about working to make things right again. Sometimes we even feel like we’re almost there when the unexpected comes ~ a trial, a temptation, a test of our ability to perfect ourselves; only to come to the realization that we can’t. We strive to be good enough, to set things right and find ourselves dealing with the on-going debris of sin. And that is why Jesus came.
He saw us “while we were yet sinners”. He knows our weaknesses and inability to make ourselves worthy before a Holy God, so He covered our sins with His blood and purified believers before the Father. For one reason or another, many refuse that covering. Some think they can handle the debris of sin on their own and others deny it even exists. But those humble enough to trust in the Savior see the reality before them and find relief in letting His love and righteousness envelop them.
Which will you choose? Trying to accomplish the impossible is an exercise in futility. There is only One who uttered the words “It is finished!” without ever having to repeat His efforts. His Name is Jesus and putting faith in Him provides the purest covering to our most overwhelming condition. Surrounded by the glory of His love and blanketed in His saving grace, we are made whiter than snow.