It looks like winter has begun. I don’t know about you, but I’m really not a fan – there’s really nothing about grey skies, freezing temperatures, snow, icy roads, heavy coats, shoveling and all the rest of it that I enjoy. Personally, I would be quite happy to have warm weather all year round. But I have to say; in our house I hold the minority opinion on this topic, especially during the month of December. There’s some part of the fun of getting ready for Christmas that my kids seem to think requires cold weather and, better yet, snow. Psalm 147, which, by the way, is all about praising God, describes winter this way:

16 He (God) spreads the snow like wool 
    and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
    Who can withstand his icy blast?

Doesn’t sound too pleasant, does it? I’m not sure I’m seeing winter as a reason for praising God…

But the psalm doesn’t end there… the next verse is more my style:

18 He sends his word and melts them;
    he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

There’s hope!

Even in this season of shortening days and more darkness, of uncomfortably cold temperatures and shoveling – the psalmist reminds me that God has it all under control. The same God who is powerful enough to control the weather, to make spring come again, transforming the “icy blast” into gentle spring breezes that melt the frost and snow and hail; this same God reveals his word to teach us, so that we might know him.

And how does he reveal his word? In the birth of a tiny baby, a long time ago, but a story that invites us in, to meet God again and get to know him, to celebrate and, yes, to praise him. So, as I prepare my heart for the coming (again) of this very special baby – as I clean and shop, cook and wrap, decorate, and yes, probably shovel some of that lovely “snow that is spread like wool”, I’ll be hanging onto the hope that I hear in these words from the psalmist. And that will be enough to remind me to…

“Praise the Lord!”

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