Bull mtn IMG_7180

He gives snow like wool;

he scatters frost like ashes.

He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;

who can stand before his cold?

He sends out his word, and melts them;

he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.

(Psalm 147:16-18)

Kent, commented that he was tired of snow until he saw a photo I took of some peaks in the Steeples Range near near us last week. Thank you, Kent. I am so glad you liked it, but you know, I get tired of snow too.

So far Canadians have been doing exceptionally well at the Winter Olympics. Yes! Do we do winter sports, or what?!

Well, some of us do. After the last two broken bones earned in the treacherous Parking Lot Crossing event, the novelty of winter sports sort of wore off for me. The valley we live in has less snow than the surrounding mountain tops, of course, but a check of snow conditions on the nearby ski hill turned up the fact that we have received more than twelve feet of snow so far. And we haven’t had a cancellation or snow day yet.

Unlike London or Atlanta, which come to a complete standstill when two inches of the white stuff sends their residents into lock-down mode, or like Simon Fraser University campus in Burnaby which broadcasts evacuation alerts seemingly before having time to clarify if the white flecks are snowflakes or dandruff, we are equipped. We have plows. Big plows. We have trucks capable of redistributing the sands of an entire get-away beach onto the highways in a day. (Well, we call them highways. One pundit wrote that interior British Columbia doesn’t have highways; it has corners with short connectors between them. The lower mainland just has a lot of wet parking lots.)

I admit that I groaned when I looked outside this morning. More snow -with predictions of a whole week of this. I should have gone for groceries when I had the chance. Now I’ll have another coffee and hope the plow comes down our street  (aka the neighbourhood luge run) before I go out. (If you want to drop by and share some with me I recommend leaning hard to the right after the electric box and before the pine tree. Mind the hidden fire hydrant.)

Wildhorse Creek snow ice IMG_7217

The same day I took photos of the Steeples Range I passed by a creek that runs near the base called Wildhorse Creek. There are still gold-mining operations in the area that started a rush over a hundred years ago. The real gold now is the water itself.

When the snow melts on these mountains it will flow into the creek which joins the Kootenay River. That river eventually flows into waterways which gather the melting snow water from many such mountains and sends it gushing across the border into the States, as the Columbia River, to water fields and provide power, recreation and transportation for millions.

I started thinking about abundance and the provision God gives us and I think it is meant to work in a similar way. Hanging on to all that water would eventually end up in the destruction of our own environment. The valleys would drown. We enjoy it, but most of it is meant to bless our neighbours who desperately need it right now. Hanging on to all God has given us, thinking we are somehow entitled or fearing that someday the provision will stop, is to no one’s benefit, least of all our own.

God has riches stored up for all of us, but trying to possess his abundant gifts without passing them on creates an environment where greed stifles love and is destructive to our own souls.

Freely receive, freely give. There’s more where that came from.

Steeple top Feb IMG_7184

Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,

seen the vault where hail is stockpiled?

(Job 38:22)

2 thoughts on “Vaults

  1. Ruth

    Oh ‘Charis’ I love you and your insights!! Praise God for His superior wisdom – yes imagine if we always got our way. What a mess! Your photos are awesome! These make me want to get out to the mountains. Have you been out east here lately? If you have are the roads good or dangerous? On another note, I was thinking of you and your family when I recently watched, for the first time, the old movies “Love Comes Softly” and sequels. The second one where the husband cut his leg so badly brought back memories of “John’s” suffering and the pain of watching and waiting through that. I loved remembing that victorious time, while watching that movie and that family’s faith. I cried and cried as it was more real for what had happened a year ago. I always pray with greater faith and understanding for having witnessed the power and glory of God throughout that ordeal. Also, it’s funny you posted this today, because this moring listening to the women’s olympic hockey I thought, this game is really a symbol and testament to the pioneer spirit that emerged from the settlers of Canada – what was the pioneer’s biggest challenge – the bitter cold here – has turned into one of the favorite passtimes in NA – hockey. Taking a challenge and turning it into a joy. Your point in this post is so good – to see what is difficult as what is also a huge blessing ultimately – water from snow – God’s “vaults of blessing”. New life emerging from a frozen wilderness. Thanks again for sharing your faith and inspirations!


    1. I was there last week and the roads were not bad then. Today is something else. It does seem so often that the trials we dread are the very waves that blessings surf on. Or as Graham Cooke writes: God allows in His wisdom what He could easily prevent by His power.
      I need to learn to quit complaining and trust that God knows what He’s doing. Put your hands in the hands of the man who can walk on water and enjoy the ride!
      Janette Oke, the writer of the Love Comes Softly books is from your part of the world too, interestingly. She wrote one of the forewards to my father’s collection of short stories.


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