I grew up in a very small town in Saskatchewan, Canada. Snow covered our little hamlet for maybe 6 months of the year. For those of us that do or have lived in Canada, we come to expect it every year. But one year, while I was still a child in grade school, there was no snow. None on the ground. None collected in the clouds above. There was just no snow.
If it had been a summer month or even a fall month, that would have been fine.But my birthday falls in November. And I have found that November is synonymous with snow and winter.
As a little kid, I had always had snow on my birthday. Either it snowed that day or there were piles of it filling our yard. But it was not so. So I did what any good Christian kid would do. I prayed for snow. And what happen reveled something encouraging about God.
Some may think that asking for snow is a sign of mental illness or insanity, and usually I would agree. But at that age, snow wasn’t linked to certain ideas like it is now. Now, snow is connected to winter, to shoveling, to colds and flus, and to vehicles getting stuck in the ditch.
That one year, snow was not a misery-inducing thing. Snow was a joyful thing. Snow meant that I could make snowmen in the yard. Snow meant that I could go sledding down the big hill that they made at the school. Snow meant that I could have snowball fights with my friends, until the teacher caught us. Snow was linked to all kinds of happy activities as a child.
And being a child, I wanted nothing more than snow on my birthday. So I prayed.
That day at breakfast time, there was no snow. That was the case on the bus ride to school, throughout the morning classes, even through the first recess. I was starting to get discouraged. I wanted snow. It was my only prayer that day, my only hope. I recall even telling my teacher that snow was what I really wanted for my birthday that year, that I had even prayed to God to send me some.
First recess ended. Mid-morning classes continued in a snowless fashion. Then came lunch. I devoured my lunch, got dressed and ran outside for the noon hour recess. I remember being on top of the jungle gym, just about to go down the slide, when a single spot on my cheek got cold and wet.
A single snowflake.
Then another. And another.
I turned from the slide and looked to the sky to see it filled with white heavenly crystals, gracefully descending to Earth. I can still hear myself yelling out across the playground to my teacher. “IT’S SNOWING!””I PRAYED TO GOD TO MAKE IT SNOW AND IT’S SNOWING!”
I’m sure she was baffled and unsure as to what to say in response, but I knew exactly what to say in that moment. Thank you God for my birthday present.
That was a long time ago now, but this memory of a snow filled birthday remains burnt in my mind. That birthday stands as an eternal reminder of these truths.
Our God is good.
Our God blesses us in big and small ways.
Our God bless us with temporary pleasures and eternal truths.
Our God does all these things because He loves us.
Our God hears our prayers.
Every year, my birthday rolls around and this memory, and more importantly this truth comes to mind. Our God is good.
It may be your birthday today, it may not be. Regardless, I hope that you are overwhelmed by the reality of this, that our God is good.