The snow is beautiful this morning. Cold, yes. But also sparkly and fresh and well, beautiful! Sparkly, sparkly, sparkly! I love to see the little snow-diamonds scattered all over the ground when the sunlight touches them in just the right way. Before the end of summer comes each year, I am already thinking ahead to the cold days and nights of winter. I confess, it isn't with eager anticipation, either. I guess you'd say it's with more of a sense of sadness. I'm not a cold weather person. And although I love the colors of the autumn months, it's always there...sort of lurking in the back of my mind...that reminder that the rich greens will soon be replaced by brown and gray...everywhere. Lush trees will turn once again into giant sticks in the ground and the verdant carpet that covers the earth in our land will be replaced with cold brown dead stuff. Even the thought that the warm temperatures will turn to chilly - or at times freezing icy-cold teeth-chattering and body-numbing air just makes me shiver on the warmest of days. As I said, I'm NOT a cold weather person. But, no matter what is going on - outside with the weather or inside of our hearts/minds/lives/circumstances - there is one thing I know: GOD is and always will be GOD and He knows how to get the sparkle - joy - snow-diamonds - to come forth in every situation. He created the earth - and all of the beauty it contains. The times and seasons are His. The days and nights are His. The goodness and mercy and grace and everything - EVERYTHING -it's all His. He IS the Creator. Nothing can exist without Him. Everything that has been or ever will be made - it's all composed of pieces and parts of things He spoke into existence. Yes, even the bad things. Even the cold cold cold winter. He makes all things beautiful in His time. In His way. Oh yes. He does. You may have stuff going on in your life that you don't like. There may be places in your heart that are cold from the hurt and disappointments and even the stain of sin that threaten to overwhelm you. But, dearest beloved child, GOD is able to work all of that out. Perhaps you are still learning to look up and live right now, in this moment. THIS moment - not those of the past or those ahead in the future. Perhaps you need to repent - change your direction and turn back to GOD. We don't know what the future holds, but we know the ONE who holds it in His very capable hands. So, beloved child of His, be encouraged! Whether it is to lift your burdens in a miraculous way or simply to strengthen you to endure as you walk through it to the other side, He wants you to remember that HE is GOD! Loving, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in mercy...all of it! HE IS GOD! And like the beautiful diamonds dancing in the cold deep snow, there are beautiful blessings tucked away in the depths of your struggles. Let the SONLIGHT of His love shower you with the peace that passes all earthly understanding. Spring is coming. New life is being born in ways you and I cannot see...hidden from our eyes, deep in the rich soil of our trials. So whether it will be snowy or balmy breezes that lie ahead, if we will just stay inside the warmth of His love, we will be able to more fully appreciate each sparkly little snow-diamond of our lives.