As White as Snow

magnolia-4481A large magnolia tree grows in my backyard.  It is a southern magnolia, a widely recognized symbol of the South.  Despite the fact that the trees’ leaves have to be constantly raked and have a knack for finding their way into our swimming pool, I’m glad the tree is there.  The tree is a beauty to behold and each spring and summer its flowers remind me of an important spiritual lesson.

Even though I have been a Christian for 43 years and a minister for 33, I am still a sinner.   Maybe it’s because I am a minister who feels like he should know better, but when I do sin I feel really guilty.   If I’m not careful I can get quite discouraged and let my guilt drag me down.  Thankfully I find some reminders in nature that help me to recall a greater reality—my forgiveness. 

In Isaiah 1:18 God says “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”   It is indeed my conviction that because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1).  The beautiful white magnolia blossom (like the one pictured here and photographed yesterday) is for me a symbol not just of the South but of God’s amazing grace.  It, like snow, is there to remind me of my true status before God—I am a sinner saved by grace!  To quote the late Jerry Clower, “Ain’t God good?!”

–Chuck Summers