Easter Cross Twelve hours ago, I was fast asleep, and there were 3-4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. Now, there is barely a trace on the ground, and the temperature is in the mid-40s. Welcome to February in the Lehigh Valley! There is an old word with a new meaning drifting around these days: Snowflake. In current parlance, it refers to someone who is fragile and delicate, who can easily melt down like a snowflake.

When I shovel more than I really think is fair, I think about how futile it all seems to be. We labor and toil to remove the snow, knowing it will soon melt away anyway. Sometimes, we get to build a snowman, but it eventually soaks into the ground. We just cannot depend on Mr. Frosty, can we?

What can we depend on? Can we depend on our money? Mostof us have more than most people in the world and store it up for tomorrow (and next month and next year . . .). Many think money can shield them from troubles. “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination” (Proverbs 18:11). Notice the words, “in his imagination.” The final truth is, “When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:5).

Can we depend upon our own strength to see us through life? Moses reminds us, “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). It is because of the curse of sin that life is so transitory. We have read about pharaohs and dictators and caesars and czars and madmen who thought they would live forever, or at least leave behind lasting legacies to proclaim their greatness. Alas, God’s words have proven true for millennia: “The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot” (Proverbs 10:7).

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing the beautiful colors of the leaves in the fall? And who doesn’t not enjoy watching the fall leaves fall on their lawn? This was a freak year for leaves in the Lehigh Valley. Many trees didn’t really change colors; they just gave up and let go. The maple trees in our area didn’t even do that; those leaves hung on until the last minute (meaning the leaf pickup had ended for the season). The melting mantle of snow revealed a layer of mangled maple leaves, a reminder of the fate that awaits us all: “We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6).

Just one more note of gloom before we get to the good stuff: Can we stake our life on tomorrow being a better day? James, the Lord’s brother, opined, “[Y]et you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
Since we are fragile as snow and melt away and sink into the ground, and our possessions and dreams will vanish, what hope do we have? The Word of God: “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. […] The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:6-8).

The promise for the believer is summed up in the ancient words of Job: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:25-27).

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