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Devotional: November 19, 2021

Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them. Isaiah 55: 10-11 The Message As the snow is accumulating outside my window tonight, it seems like a good time to consider these verses about rain and snow. The prophet Isaiah likens the falling snow to the Word of God. In the same way that rain and snow water the earth, to produce food, so God’s word produces fruit in the lives of those who hear it. Isaiah’s analogy of snow as God’s word works on several levels. Here are a few. Snow sometimes falls when you least expect it, and the amounts can be surprising. Even in these days of meteorologists and radar maps, we may still be shocked by the weather. In the same way, I am sometimes caught off guard by where God’s word pops up. Sometimes it is part of a picture shared on social media. Maybe I glance at a bible verse on a sign as I drive by a church, or I notice a bumper sticker on a car. An advertisement for a Christian ministry will sometimes include a verse or two. Someone may quote a bible verse in the context of a conversation. God’s word sometimes pops up in the most surprising and unexpected places. The full effects of a snowfall can be far reaching and sometimes longer lasting than we anticipate. Many of us are quite aware of the immediate effects of a heavy snowfall: driveways need to be shoveled or plowed, frozen car windshields need to be scraped, and we all need to slow down as we drive. On a lighter note, the snow beckons some to come and play, making snowmen, or having snowball fights. Some of the snow now falling, especially in the mountains, may eventually become part of the snowpack. Months later, it will melt, filling the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. In the same way, we may not always see the immediate results of God’s word. Sometimes, it may seem to fall upon deaf ears. However, Isaiah reminds us that God’s word will eventually bring forth fruit. Perhaps it will be the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.). Isaiah reminds us that God’s word always has some effect, but that effect may not be seen immediately. In addition to beautifying the ground with a white blanket, snow reminds us of God’s providence. From the viewpoint of eternity, the Word of the Lord is always proven effective and powerful. The white snow is like the beautiful forgiveness we receive from the Lord. An acquaintance recently told me that he had recently given up Facebook, where he would sometimes get embroiled in arguments. Instead, he has turned to reading God’s word, because the effect upon him is much more positive. As Isaiah puts it, “The words that come out of [the Lord’s] mouth do not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” Amen. Prayer God of snow and rain, sunshine and harvest, Thank you for the varied seasons of our world, Your creation. When I forget about Your word, or fall prey to the world’s belief that it doesn’t matter, remind me of the truth. You speak to us through Your word, softening hearts, and changing lives. I may never know the full effects of Your word, but help me to trust in You, and Your Word, always. I pray this prayer in the name of the One who is the Living Word, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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