Snow Piles

One of the things that continues to amaze me is how God speaks to us through nature. This morning after I pulled in my driveway after getting home from church, I noticed that the snow piles along the northeast side of my driveway, that were over two feet tall a few days ago, had shrunk down significantly over yesterday and today because of the warmer temperatures. I remembered how many hours of hard work of shoveling in the bitter cold late at night and early in the morning it had taken me to create those massive piles of snow, and how in a few more days with weather like this, they would be melted away to nothing. Mind you, I didn’t make the snow, and I didn’t cause it to fall on my driveway (heh, if I could do that, I would cause it _not_ to fall on my driveway in the first place! :oP) – all I did was move it from one place to another. I used the resources and time given to me to do the work of clearing my driveway so that it didn’t turn into a sheet of ice.

The last time I was up in Chicago visiting friends, it had snowed several inches up there, and my friend Phil and I got to talking about how it’s kind of a guy pride thing – how big the piles of snow are when you don’t have a snowblower – like “Heh, I moved that. Grunt.” However, if in the middle of the summer, I were to tell someone “Look at my giant snow piles!” they would be like “where? I don’t see anything!” As I was thinking about this, God brought to my mind the passage in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, where Paul writes:

“Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

For those of us who belong to Christ, as we are told in Romans 14:10-12, one day we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, where we will give an account for how we used the time and resources given to us during our time here on earth. Our work will be tested as with fire to see if it will endure, whether it was like straw or grass, which burns up and leaves nothing but ashes and the smell of smoke, or whether it was like gold or silver, which is purified when heated with fire because the impurities rise to the top and are skimmed off.

I want to leave you with this challenge: Live your life in a way that you are building with gold, with iron, with things that endure. Don’t just move a big pile of snow, which when heated melts away, leaving you with nothing to show for all your effort.