This morning I woke up in the dark, as usual, and went up the stairs with no lights on to begin my morning devotional time with God. As I came around the corner to my living room, the ambient light in the room was so bright I could clearly see everything. The full moon reflecting off the snow outside lit up everything inside, coming through the windows at every angle. The reflection of the moonlight was magnified by the snow and brought much more light in than the previous nights when the ground was still brown, exposing the sticks and leaves on the forest floor then visible from the January thaw we’d had earlier in the month. Each tiny little snowflake, uniquely formed and accumulated with all the other snowflakes, created a thick blanket of white on every surface, illuminating the 3 am darkness in a dim but spectacular beauty by reflecting the muted moonlight.
The thought then came to me that when we are “white as snow”, the least little bit of light goes a LOT farther, reflecting brighter than when we’re caught up in our own debris. Opening my morning devotional Our Daily Bread for January 31, I then was taught even more about Isaiah 1:18 that says “though your sins be as scarlet, they will be white as snow”. The writer explained: The prophet was describing the bright red dye obtained from the eggs of a small insect. Clothes would be double-dyed in this bright red so the color became fixed. Neither rain nor washing would remove it. Sin is like that. No human effort can take it away. It’s rooted in the heart. Only God can cleanse a heart from sin… [resulting in] the pure whiteness that scrubbing and bleaching a piece of cloth dyed in scarlet red can’t achieve. When we follow Peter’s teaching, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19), God forgives us and gives us a new life. Only through Jesus’s sacrifice can we receive what no one else can give—a pure heart. What a wonderful gift!”
In 40 something years of reading the Bible and all the sermons I’ve heard over the years, no one had ever told me about those little red berries. I am truly grateful for God’s forgiveness, the completeness of His redemption and the prospect of His light reflecting off my cleansed heart and life! May we all have the eyes of our understanding enlightened so that we can truly see how deep and high and wide and long is the love of God for us in Christ Jesus! May we reflect His light at every opportunity! Even in the dark!