Like much of the Midwest and Great Plains states, we are digging out from more than a foot of snow this morning. When we shoveled the driveway yesterday, we had to scoop through 2 1/2- to 3-foot snow drifts. It took us close to an hour to shovel, and by the time we got done the wind had blown so much snow back on the driveway that you couldn't tell we had shoveled.
Sometimes dealing with the sin in our lives is like shoveling out from the great Blizzard of Oz (yes, we live in Kansas). God makes us aware of the sin, but we sit and look at it rather than deal with it because it's so much easier to just maintain the status quo than it is to work to change it. I certainly didn't want to go outside and shovel that snow. It was much more cozy in my house than it was outside. However, the snow was not going to move itself -- just like the sin in our lives isn't going to just disappear without some effort on our parts.
Once we were out shoveling, the temptation was to just shovel half the driveway so we could get one car out and leave the other half for later. It was hard work shoveling a foot of snow. I was hot, tired and my shoulders and back hurt. Digging out of our sin can be just as painful and tiring. Especially, if, like the snow, we've let ourselves become entrenched in that sin. It takes working at it one shovelful at a time. And sometimes we have to shovel the same path over and over until we have purged that sin from our lives.
The most frustrating part of shoveling was getting to the end of the driveway, turning around and seeing the driveway covered with snow again. Sometimes, we dig out of our sin only to return to it later, like the snow returning to my driveway. Yet a little sun and a little more shoveling today will clear my driveway of the snow, just like letting God lead the way will clear that entrenched sin out of our lives.
While I can shovel the snow under my own power, I cannot get rid of sin on my own. Paul talks about this in Romans 7:14-15 when he says "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Only God's power and love can do that. My job is to turn away from that sin and tap into God's power to stay away from that sin. It is only through God's power that we can dig out from under the weight of our sin.
So, as you send your children out to help you shovel the driveway, use the moment to talk with them about how difficult it is to dig out from our sin. As you heave that snow to the side of the driveway, remind your kids that it's only through God's strength and power that we can clear the sin from our lives.