When visiting the Grand Canyon a couple years ago, I was overcome by the vastness of the canyon and awed by the beauty of the rock layers. Yet, I felt a twinge of sadness too, as I realized this huge hole in the earth’s crust was a result of destruction and erosion brought about by the Great Flood in Noah’s day. Therefore, it was caused by man’s sin. I wondered how much more beautiful the earth would have been before the Flood.
I experienced similar thoughts and feelings more recently while enjoying stunning scenery in the Mammoth Mountains in California. However, the sadness dissipated when a still, small voice pointed out something I had not thought of: when God originally created the world, He designed it so that even after thousands of years of destruction and erosion, there would still be beauty remaining to delight our eyes in the twenty-first century. He had even prepared for the destruction and erosion with love.
When I arrived home for the holidays less than an hour in advance of a huge twenty-four-hour, ten-plus-inch snowstorm, I was thankful for God’s perfect timing, and for friends and family members who kindly gave me rides so I wouldn’t have to drive in the snow. However, I was not thrilled to see Winter arriving in full force.
Later, as I sat looking out my window, I realized the changing seasons are another result of the Great Flood. Before the Flood, there was no such thing as snow. The Flood caused the earth’s axis to tilt, and that tilt causes the changing seasons. In Genesis 8:22, after the waters subsided and Noah’s family came out of the Ark, God declared, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” “So,” I thought, “snow is a result of sin, just like canyons and mountains that were formed by erosion.”
Then came this thought: when God created water, He designed those molecules so that when they froze in the air, no two crystals would be alike. He provided for beauty and wonder, thousands of years before the molecules would have occasion to freeze or crystallize. This was for us, not for Adam and Eve.
How awesome is that? Every snowflake is a sparkling little message of God’s amazing grace and unending love, telling us that when He created the world, He had us in mind. Also, the clean, white new-fallen snow brings to mind that He made all things new and has washed us clean. He could have made snow very ugly as a constant reminder of sin. Instead, he chose to design it so it would shine and sparkle, and remind us of His kindness toward us.
I still don’t love snow; I’m thankful I can winter where it’s warm and sunny. But now when I’m here in the Midwest and I see those flakes swirling around, instead of being annoyed I’ll be praising God, remembering that when He created the universe thousands of years ago, He thought of me.