White as Snow – Back from Winter Bible Camp 2008

“I want to be white,” she said. She looked out of the chapel window at the falling flakes and wiped tears from her eyes. “I want to be clean and white and beautiful…like that snow.”
We looked at her in sympathy. She stood tall above us all, sharing. Her voice trembled because it is a scary thing to speak your heart to others. But if the sympathy in my heart was mirrored on my face and the faces of others, she should have had nothing to fear.

I understood what she meant. The cry of her heart was mine as well. I, too, wanted to have a clean soul like the stainless white flakes that fell, untarnished and untouched, from heaven. Is anything more pure and perfect?

And then I think of my own heart. The exact opposite. Festering and disgusting, wormy and gross, putrid and black. Not a good thing about it…not a single redeeming quality. My heart is the poster child of Jeremiah 17:9, my soul is the living proof of the depravity of mankind. All the good opportunities I have been given, all the good examples and role models I see every day, and still I am such a desperate sinner, such a hardened rebel. Not soft and pure and white and moldable, like those snowflakes.

All last weekend at Winter Bible Camp 2008, a time of fellowship for youth groups in our area, the words of the old hymn echoed in my head.

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love,
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.

I knew this was true. I knew that, like a stupid sheep, I was prone to wander. No matter how many green pastures and still waters the Good Shepherd leads me to, still my heart is wayward, and I long for my own way.

But then another refrain comes to mind.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within Me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord,
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of my salvation
And renew a right spirit within Me.

I know He will do it. Psalm 18 proclaims that by my God, I can leap over a wall. Everything is possible for Him, even removing my heart of stone and giving me a heart of flesh. And He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

I watched the snowflakes flutter silently to the ground outside the window of that chapel, painting the evergreens and covering the mountains. I know how black my heart is. But still I can sing to the God who is ever faithful to answer my prayers, still I can trust in Him who sees my heart as white and my sins as forgiven because of His blood. I know He is trustworthy, and I know He’s not done with me yet. Nothing but the blood of Jesus, nothing but the love of God, nothing but the power He possesses, could give me this assurance. None but Him could do this work. But He will do it, and I will be faithful, until the day I stand before my Savior, with my heart white as snow.

White as snow, white as snow,
Though my sins be as scarlet
Lord I know, Lord I know,
That I am clean and forgiven.
Through the power of Your blood.
Through the wonder of Your love,
Through faith in You I know that I can be
White as snow.

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