Tuesday, February 2

Blizzard Night

What do 11 people from three different countries have in common
on one very cold snowy night in Utah?

It is our annual Blizzard Celebration!


We invited friends to join us
to hear and celebrate the amazing thing God did for us
so many years ago.

We were only married a few months when Michael was finishing his degree in Bible College. To help pay tuition, I had a job in a small Iowa town near where we lived.
That first day of February was bitterly cold in Iowa. The wind was wildly blowing the snow, making it a classic Iowa winter day with the wind-chill 45 below zero.

My normal route to work was through the back roads- mostly gravel, between the famously flat, harvested corn fields. On the way smoke/steam started pouring from the hood of the car.  Knowing I couldn't stay in the useless car very long, I put on the second pair of gloves I found in the car and started walking towards a silo on a farm that I saw in the distance.


Somehow I kept walking in the bitter wind, always keeping my eye on the silo through the swirling snow, but I was so very cold.  I knew when I got to the farm house I would have to do anything I could to get warm - even break into the house.
God obviously knew I had no experience of entering and breaking into homes so He lovingly had a better plan for me.  As I neared the farm house I saw a woman coming out the back door yelling for me to come that way.

She carefully took me in the house, took off my shoes and gloves and put my hands in and feet in bowls of water.  I was so desperately cold I could not even talk.
She talked though.
I learned her name was Angela and that she was a nurse. She kept on talking.  I remember wishing she would just stop talking so I could go to sleep.  She asked me many questions but I could do little but cry.  Angela looked in my purse for information and saw a picture of me and Michael.  "Oh!  I know you, she exclaimed.  We visited your church a few weeks ago and sat behind you. I remember your husband's hair."
We had not met that day in church, but Angela was my sister in Christ.

While Michael sat in a very warm classroom studying the book of Matthew, I was miles away, and God was Sovereign. I suffered no frostbite or permanent ill that day, despite walking 8 tenths of a mile in bitter weather.

After her husband returned home that day he got our car into his barn to attempt to repair it. Now without a car, they handed us a dozen fresh chicken eggs and sent us off with their van to use until we could get ours repaired.  When I got home and opened the egg carton, there lay ten dollars on top of those beautiful eggs.

It has been 28 years since that scary day. Some of the finer details are forgotten,
but one thing I do remember is their last name - Sweeter.
The words "Angela Sweeter" still bring warmth to my heart.

Joshua 4 soon became a special passage to us.  When God caused the people of Israel to pass over Jordan, He told Joshua to take twelve men from the tribes to take 12 stones from the Jordan river where the priests had stood.  He instructed Joshua to set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan as a memorial.
God told them, "When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever."


Michael decided that we would set up our own '12 stones'
so that we and our family would have a visual memorial
of what God did for us that day.
He proclaimed every February 1, "Blizzard Day".


Every year we celebrate God's particular goodness in our life that day
by recounting the story of His tender hand while eating ice cream blizzards
or something similarly ridiculously freezing on Feb 1.


We often ask others to share in our joy,


allowing them to hear of our Mighty God.


A Math professor from UVU came
and enjoyed fellowship, and some tea from her country.


This young lady is from Brazil.
We had never met her before tonight.


Since Carlos is still learning English,
she was an excellent interpreter for his mother who is visiting from Brazil,
while I shared my story.


We have names of new friends in our guest book tonight.
We built relationships with old friends.
And we all praised God because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

2 comments:

  1. Sharon,
    Could I have a copy of your story? I have heard it in bits and pieces but have never seen it in writing.
    Dad

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderful story of God's faithfulness! I loved this!

    ReplyDelete

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