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An article about "Snowflake Bentley" included the following:
"Wilson (Willie) Bentley (1865-1931) was born on a farm in Jericho, Vermont, ... [an area with] an average annual snowfall of over 120 inches."
"At age 15 he began drawing snowflakes while looking at them through his microscope - no easy task, because most of them melted before he could complete a drawing. At age 16 he learned about a camera that could be used with a microscope. His parents saved the money—and when Willie was 17 they bought him the camera. It took him over a year of failures before he finally achieved his goal - a photograph of a snowflake, the first one ever taken." (Acts and Facts, 12/2011)
Bentley eventually made thousands of such pictures for universities and science magazines.
"At age 66 Bentley published a large ... book of his photographs titled Snow Crystals ... Less than two weeks after his book was published, he walked six miles home in a snowstorm, caught pneumonia, and died two weeks later."
So, with incredible irony, this man who devoted most of his life to the study of snow, ultimately died from walking in a snowstorm!
Consider some lessons we can learn from snow.
Bentley said: "...wonders of God's handiwork are to be found in the tiniest details of all He has made. One powerful example of this beauty is the intricate design of a snow crystal."
Job 38 - God responded to Job by describing different aspects of creation that prove His right to control the universe. Verse 22 asks: "Have you entered the treasury of snow?"
Man has no right to control the universe or to criticize God's control of it, because we did not make it and could not make it. Snow is one of the many proofs that God created the universe.
Bentley said: "Anyone who's seen snowflakes under a microscope cannot help but be amazed by how beautifully complex they are."
Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time.
We see beauty everywhere we look in God's creation. We can see the beauty of a snowfall, but for thousands of years of human history no human had observed the beauty of an individual snowflake. But God could see this beauty all along.
When we learn to appreciate beauty in nature, it will help us to appreciate God.
Bentley "...at first expected that all snowflakes would be the same, but was surprised to learn that all of those he examined were different. Bentley concluded that, to the best of his knowledge, no snowflake 'was an exact duplicate of any other snowflake!'"
Likewise, no two people are exactly alike. You are unique in the history of the world! Of all the millions of people who ever have lived or ever will live, no one else will ever be exactly like you. You are unique and special to God.
Matthew 10:29-31 - Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
No two snowflakes are identical, yet all are beautiful. So you can be beautiful, but not necessarily in the same way everyone else is. You may or may not ever be beautiful physically. But everyone can be beautiful spiritually.
Romans 12:4 - ... we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function.
Everyone has abilities he/she can use to be beautiful before God.
Beautiful as snow can be when it first falls pure and clean, yet it can become very repulsive when it is filthy.
Proverbs 30:12 - There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
Eventually all people become ugly when we are defiled by sin.
Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."
God uses snow to illustrate how pure and clean we can be when our sins are cleansed.
Bentley said: "When a snowflake melted, ... that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."
James 4:14 - "...you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away."
Each of us will soon be gone, never to live again on this earth. Why not be cleansed of your sin and become white as snow while you have the opportunity?
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2018
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.