White as Snow: God's Call to Holiness

Welcome to Real Life. What does it mean to be holy?

“True holiness is not achieved by what we do,
but what we allow God to do in us.”
–Mark Hart

As we launch a New Year, I am pondering God’s call to holiness. It’s snowing. The whiteness is blinding after days of dull, dreary rain. Watching the snow, I sense God’s Spirit saying, “I am holy. I live in blinding light. I want you to be holy as well.”

God, the blessed and only Ruler,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light,
whom no one has seen or can see.
To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 6:15-16 NIV emphasis mine)
Pure. Clean. Blinding light. God is holy. I am not. In fact, I’m far from it. A great gap exists between who I am and who God is calling me to be. Yet, He doesn’t give up on me. He still wants me to be holy. It almost seems unfair. Kindness, compassion, and maybe even love seem do-able. Holiness, however, feels out of my league—like an amateur athlete trying to compete in the Olympics. Leave holiness to the professionals.

Pastors, missionaries, and priests, they are the holy ones. Their lives are fully dedicated to God’s work. My father called the Amish “holy people.” They lead lives of separation and simplicity to please God. Is this holiness?

Separation from the world is definitely an element of holiness. But far more than in separation, I find holiness in connection to God. This God who dwells in unapproachable light invites us into his presence. When I am with him, I no longer desire what the world desires. Success, power, and pleasure fade to inconsequential in the presence of a God who is wholly good, pure, beautiful, and true. And not only that, he loves us. Our God fully knows us and fully loves us. In his presence, I begin to desire what God desires. I want a good, beautiful, pure, holy, loving heart like his. When we desire God what God desires, we become holy.

The truth is God's call to holiness is not unfair. It is not a heavy burden he piles onto our weak human shoulders. Rather, it is a call of love. It is our Father calling his children home. Leave your burdens. Leave your messes. Leave your fears. Leave your striving. And enter into my love and peace and rest. I want to be with you. Holiness is our heritage. It’s not something we must strive to attain like an Olympian. The work is done. The price has already been paid in blood. God says, “Be holy for I am holy”[1] because that is who you and I are meant to be.

Holiness is not so much a character trait we need to develop as it is a natural result of spending time with God. It’s that simple. And it’s that difficult. “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.”[2]

Dear Lord,
Draw us near to your heart.
And make us holy.
So that, our hearts reflect your pure, beautiful, loving heart.
We long to be who you created us to be.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Michigan Snowfall Photograph by Maria Tustan 1/12/24
[1] 1 Peter 1:16
[2] Isaiah 1:18


  1. Peggi, I can see God shining through your life! You reflect Jesus well.

    1. Thanks so much, Amy. Right back atcha. Love you, Sister!


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