Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Snow Day!

This past weekend, my family and I went for an overnight trip to Stone Mountain, Georgia. We didn’t go for the laser show or to see the view from the top. We went to play in the snow!

If you have not heard, for the months of January and February, Stone Mountain Park becomes Snow Mountain. They use the water from Stone Mountain Lake to make snow. Then they blow it all over the slope where you usually sit to watch the laser show. Check out their website here

There’s plenty to do there. They have built a 400 ft snow hill with lanes for tubing, an area to make the ultimate snowman (or snowperson for the PC people out there.), and a place to make a snow fort and have a snowball fight. (By the way, my son won the fight when he smacked me right between the eyes with a fastball.)

The great part about all of this is that it was in the high 60’s, but we got to play in the snow! What an unexpected treat! We had a great time, and I highly recommend it.

I thought about how paradoxical the whole day was. We traveled 3 hours southwest, in 60-70 degree weather to play in the snow in a place where we normally go in the summer. While I was throwing snowball at my son, I noticed a guy outside the snow area who was jogging with shorts and a t-shirt on.

The God we serve loves just such paradoxes. He tells us that in order to receive, we must give; in order to lead, we must serve; in order to live, we must die.

God wants us to look for Him in the most unlikely places. Instead of finding the Creator of the universe in a palace or on a high mountain, He says to find Him in the hungry, thirsty, sick and imprisoned. He says to look for Him in the praises of His people. He says that He dwells in our hearts.

God comes to us in unexpected ways, so that we cannot take credit for ourselves, or give the credit to fate, for His good works. The Apostle Paul writes “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV)

I’m reminded of the old song Spanish Harlem by Ben E. King. (I know there are other recordings of this song, but Ben E. King is the best!) The song is about a girl that the singer is in love with. The song calls her the “rose” in Spanish Harlem. The whole premise of the song is the amazement that something so beautiful could exist in the middle of such ugliness.

Isn’t it amazing that God chose to come down in the middle of all our ugliness, and become one of us? What could be more unexpected and unlikely than a stable, the manger, growing up a carpenter’s son, or the cross? If God has chosen the “foolish” things of this world, then why do we continue to seek Him in the same old ways and same old places? He is a God of newness and growth, not of mustiness and stagnation.

What circumstances are clouding your life right now? What challenges do you have today that you think you may never climb over? What areas of your life are the weakest? Look closely at them. You may be surprised to find God, right there in the middle of them. So many times we pray for God to take away all of our challenges when, in reality, they may be the very place where God is waiting for us to discover Him.

In what unlikely place will you find God today?

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)

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