There has been a lot of snow and cold in the Northeastern United States lately and having lived there many years in the past I know that it can get a little depressing as the winter wears on. Yet, amid the onslaught of winter, there is beauty, a very real beauty that overshadows most of the difficulties we encounter during the winter months. Somehow this picture reminded me of the apostle Paul's situation...
Ephesians 3:1-12 (WEB)
1) For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles,
2) if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you;
3) how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words,
4) by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ;
5) which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
6) that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News,
7) of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power.
8) To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9) and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ;
10) to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places,
11) according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord;
12) in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him.
Here was a man who had persecuted the church; one who had tried to stamp it out and he did it with great zeal and enthusiasm. Yet, God had a plan for him and used him in a way that was amazing! However, Paul felt like a nobody! The memory of what he had done is reflected in verse 8 and must have been quite a weight on his mind. God doesn't play favorites and when he chooses someone for a task, it is with good reason. So, amid the cold hard memory of what he had done, there was a beauty to it, much like this picture! Amid all the cold there is a beautiful sky, something that will shine on in the mind for a very long time! God is like that; he takes something unpleasant and turns it into something beautiful; even in the midst of a cold, hard winter!!!