“Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?” (Job 38:22).
It is true that the word “treasures” in this verse might better be translated as “storehouses.” And it is true that God meant for His string of questions in Job 38—41 to broaden Job’s perception of his Creator. But having grown up where winter equals snow, I can’t help but recall real treasures of the snow I have experienced.
First of all, there was the anticipation of its arrival. From the second the weather forecaster predicted even the possibility of a slight flurry, I would stand ready—snow gear stationed handily at the door, myself often at attention in front of a window to witness the first flakes.
Then there were the treasured patterns of snow angels. My friends and I created these by lying on our backs in new-fallen snow, then swishing our arms and legs back and forth. We would then arise carefully to gaze upon impressions that looked like flying angels.
Thirdly, there are the snowflakes themselves. The most treasured thing my third grade teacher taught me was to wear dark-colored mittens when it snowed. Why? Because when the white snowflakes landed on your darkly mittened hands, you could see clearly the unique design of each individual flake.
Lastly, the very whiteness of the snow was itself a treasure. Glittering in the noon sun, cradling the long shadows of shivering trees, or glowing faintly pink against the gray horizon of winter twilight, the brush of snow could paint a landscape as breathtaking as any of the great masters.
Now that I live where it doesn’t snow a great deal, I must rely upon my memories of these snow treasures. Yet this reliance has added a new dimension to them. Like the questions God asked Job, my reflections concerning these treasures often point me to the Creator. First of all, for every moment I recall anticipating snow, I wonder if I now spend an equal or greater amount of time longing for the Second Coming. Am I as prepared for that event as I was for a white countryside? How much do I desire that first glimpse of an advancing heavenly host coming to set me free from the doldrums of sin?
Then, for every angel I remember swishing into the snow as a child, I think of the thousand times ten thousand angels traveling between earth and heaven. Some of them have protected me from evil. And one of them is even my very own. This guardian has led me since birth, has observed my first steps, and, if I should die before Christ returns, will be the first to greet me at the resurrection. Together in heaven, we will review the history of this being’s intervention on my behalf, and my perplexities will vanish like snow in early spring warmth.*
Thirdly, each individual snowflake I recall examining on my navy blue mittens reminds me that God has created us all with a unique blend of talents and abilities. And just as each snowflake is needed to blanket the ground, so are we all needed to cover the earth with the good news of salvation.
And lastly, there is the whiteness of the snow itself, defining the dull winter landscape with strokes of brilliance. Such alabaster memories remind me that “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isa. 1:18). And this is truly the greatest treasure of
all—that the landscapes of our sinful lives could ever be as brilliant as a field of snow sparkling in the sun.
* See Ellen G. White, Education, p. 305.