Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Leon Kauffman
Elder, Condon Community Church 

Joy in the snow?

 

November 15, 2018



I recently ran across a quote on Facebook attributed to @mindfulfitness that said “If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.” I suspect that for most people who choose to live in this part of the world, they can at least find some joy in the snow whether it be in recreational opportunities such as skiing or snowmobiling, in work opportunities clearing snow, or just in the beauty it adds to an already beautiful place. On the other side of it, I think there are aspects of the snow, such as poor driving conditions and the need to shovel, that are not so welcome especially three to four months into winter.

I don’t think this quote was necessarily written to have any religious meaning but it does relate to teaching from the Bible. Philippians 4:4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” James goes so far to say “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” The implication of such verses, and there are many more like them, is that our joy should be there not just in something mundane like snow but also when life brings things like wildfire and smoke, sickness, family strife and all other manner of trials.

In practice, it is much easier to say or read these than to actually put them into action. To fully understand joy in the midst of trails is a topic far too extensive to be addressed in a little column like this but I do want to offer a couple of thoughts.

Christian joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is not something we need to produce on our own accord. However, we are given the command to rejoice. In this context, I think we are called to focus on the joy the Holy Spirit is producing within us rather than the negative things going on around us.

Ultimately our joy is rooting in the salvation that we have through belief in Jesus Christ. When we focus on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross, the circumstances around us should fade in importance. This does not mean as Christians that we will not have sorrow in our lives but there can be rejoicing in the midst of it.

In 2 Corinthians 6:10, the Apostle Paul in listing attributes of servants of God writes “as sorrowful yet always rejoicing.”

As winter comes and the snow along with it, I would encourage you to find joy in the snow. Likewise, as you live your life, focus on those things that can give you joy. If you find yourself living a life devoid of joy, I would encourage you to find a Bible and read it in your search for joy.

 

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