Wintry Mix

I have always been a snow lover as long as I can remember.  I love to watch it fall, the silence of its falling, and the blanket of white that covers the ground.  The beauty of a new snow seems to calm us down although it can send us into a panic before it arrives, as we cannot survive without bread and milk.

However, in Richmond, Virginia, seldom is our forecast just for snow.  In most cases the forecast is for a wintry mix which simply means a combination of every type of precipitation:  rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow.  We don’t know what we will get until it starts falling.  Yet, most of the time it is a mixed bag of precipitation.

As I consider my own faith and relationship with Jesus Christ, I must confess that I too am a mixed bag.  As I seek to live for Jesus in the world, I am constantly aware that I am not as pure as a driven snow. ‘Driven snow‘ is snow that has blown into drifts and is untrodden and clean.  No, I am a mixed bag of saint and sinner, clean and unclean, faith and doubt, faithful and unfaithful and there are plenty other dichotomies I could add to the mix.

Maybe this is what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he wrote to the Roman Church:

 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Paul is clearly a mixed bag when it comes to his faith.  And if we are honest, we too have the same weather pattern in our own lives.  While we seek to walk with Christ in our lives we still continue to stumble over our own sinfulness.  We are saints and sinners at the same time.  Paul was so frustrated with his faith failures that he cries out, “wretched man that I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

This is the question that we must each ask ourselves as followers of Jesus.  How can the forecast of our lives be changed?  Paul answers this question for himself and for us in the next verse where he writes, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  By ourselves we cannot alter the saint/sinner pattern in our life.  Trying to do so in our strength will only lead to further inner conflict.  No, ultimately it is God’s grace that can lead us into the kind of life that God desires.  A grace that we need every day of our lives because our commitment to God can be as unpredictable as the weather in Richmond.  We indeed are a wintry mix; a mixed bag.

The apostle John would write in the first letter that bears his name these words:

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It is through Christ alone that we can be made holy and righteous.  By God’s grace we can become the people God desires.  It may take a lifetime to get there, but as we place our faith in Christ Jesus, then God can begin to alter the weather pattern in our lives whereby we are no longer a wintry mix but are as pure as a driven snow.


Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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