The forecast called for snow in the South, but all we saw that morning was a little rain through our own salty tears.
Salty, in more ways than one.
In the South, where there are no snow plows (because there is no snow), the chance to see it once or twice a year brings with a certain level of hype.
This is especially true when recent memories of the 2014 Snowpocalypse still linger in the minds of those who slept in their car or workplace, or had children who spent the night at school.
The forecasters from state to state have since said they’ve never seen anything like the “flash freeze” that occurred as one or two inches of snow fell to the ground. The fine layer of white turned into a fine layer of ice.
I work in a middle school office and I will never forget that day when as we started early dismissal, and then the radio crackled with, “the buses are coming back.”
The realization set in that nearly 1,000 students (in our school alone) would have to be picked up from…the office. But, if it was too dangerous for bus travel, then how would parents reach the school? How would we get to our own children? How did this happen so quickly?
The local and national weather authorities said they blew it. Cities like Atlanta and Birmingham resembled scenes from an end-of-days movie as cars lined the highways, out of gas, with stranded people walking as far as they could in the bitter cold.
Say the word “snow” and I think the adults start twitching just a little. 😂
Back in 2019, it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of a local television/radio celebrity, who is a long-time, Alabama meteorologist. If you do not know James Spann, here’s one clip to bring you up to speed on the humor. Also google “OnSpann,” which is our version of OnStar, and how well he knows Alabama.
James Spann isn’t a perfect meteorologist, but after listening to him for the majority of my life, and especially after hearing his personal testimony, I know he sincerely loves the people in this state.
Even the boneheads.
My fan club membership isn’t so much about his knowledge of science, but his knowledge of people, our towns and cities, and how he lives his life for Christ.
We had fun on social media about the busted snow forecast.
At 5:00 a.m., I did watch light snow falling (and disappearing) as I drank my hot chocolate, stirred my crockpot of taco soup and turned off the time-lapse recording of my back porch that was not covered in a fluffy layer of white.
I made a meme of the weather radar showing mainly rain and layered it with the cover of Tiffany’s song, “Could’ve Been.” I like to think all the girls from the 80’s grinned over their coffee.
Then, the not-so-jokingly comments began to appear on social media (not you JMW or JS). 😂
Someone tweeted that people criticizing James Spann must have “stocked up on haterade instead of milk”
Now, that one was funny. Others…not so much.
Our society is at an expert-level of Monday-morning-quarterbacks. Armed with an electronic device, no filter, and an intent to stir the pot with venom instead of honey, the “trolls” began their armchair assault.
We see this everywhere though, involving any subject or debate, even the weather forecast.
It is who we have become in the age of instant opinions on social media. I have to be careful that I don’t get sucked into the polar vortex of winter warlocks because I (clearly) have plenty to say!
I feel bad when people try to publicly embarrass or severely ridicule someone (extreme, hateful trolling, not Tiffany-type memes). ☺️
No one remembers the good days if your yard is full of mud puddles instead of a snowman.
My mind soon shifted from the weather drama to how this all relates to our everyday life, and I thought:
I am so grateful God does not hold our wrongs against us….that He doesn’t daily remind me of every mistake He has already forgiven.
People might have lists of your mistakes, or even celebrate your downfall, but God does not.
Sadly, too many face only the accuser and don’t yet know the Savior. They are living with the balance scale tipped completely against them.
They need hope.
They need shelter.
With the world and the enemy slinging whatever it can to keep us walking and thinking in the dark, I was immediately reminded of refuge – my spiritual storm shelter.
Psalm 91:1-2 – Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
I am so undeserving of the grace and mercy that says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far as He has removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
I came across the following story from Liberty University that so perfectly described our need for the Savior and how our sin really looks:
A little girl is looking at a white sheep as it ate green grass and she thought how nice and white the sheep looked as it ate the green grass.
Then it began to snow and she thought how dirty the sheep looked against the white snow.
It was the same sheep, but it was a different background.
So when we compare our sin to the standard of the world, we all come up reasonably clean.
But when we compare our sin to the snow white righteousness of God’s law, we’ll see that we are filthy dirty.
Who can fathom a Creator who cries out, “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18a)?
We don’t seem to really understand this type of love.
We quote and post and argue about this type of love, but few people have actually comprehended how wide, how long, how deep and how high it really is. Sometimes I wonder if I do.
This love though, the First Love that ever existed, the only real love, is described in 1 Corinthians 13 as:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails
▫️It keeps no record of wrongs.▫️
The Message translates it like this:
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Taylor Swift wasn’t wrong when she sang, “the haters gonna hate, hate, hate.”
I think it’s okay to dream like Pollyanna and hope to see the best in everyone (eventually), but also remind yourself there will always be haters to those who follow Christ:
- John 15:18 – “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”
- Matthew 10:22 – “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
However, we don’t face this alone. The Lord did not intend for us to encounter a battle unarmed:
- John 15:26-27 – “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
- John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Seek first His kingdom each day, through His word and in His presence, and you will be prepared for the haters, disappointments or unexpected events, like when it rains on your parade…or you wake up to sunshine instead of snow.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My mouth:
It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Copyright Keysha Thomaston 2019
Additional Verses, Music and Related Blog Links:
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
The Elements – Tobymac
Shelter – Carrollton