They are calling it an historic avalanche season in Colorado. With snowpack at well over 100% due to massive amounts of mountain snowfall, conditions are prime for avalanches to breakout all over the backcountry. Already, six have died in avalanches this winter. In fact, there have been three deadly slides just in the past week. Warnings continue to come in from The Colorado Avalanche Information Center about dangerous conditions following two weeks of heavy snow. Others have escaped death, but have harrowing tales of survival and, in some cases, broken bones. Avalanches travel at the rate of a speeding car and hit with the force of a freight train. Typically, those buried in an avalanche lie beneath a ton of snow and the most common killer is either suffocation or blunt force trauma. The head of the CAIF says the three most important tools are the beacon, probe, and shovel. The first is worn by the potential victim, while the other two are used by the rescuer. Though these events can happen and be over in a matter of seconds, they can bring permanent consequences (information via FoxNews and Time’s Science And Space).
How often do we face overwhelming circumstances which we might liken to an avalanche? They happen suddenly and seriously, and the aftermath can feel almost suffocating. Though with different images, Bible writers speak of the feeling of burdens and sins being heavy and over their head (Ps. 38:4; Lam. 3:54). David says similar things about trouble (Ps. 119:143) and iniquity (Ps. 40:12) overtaking him so that he cannot look up. Maybe you can relate to such feelings, whether brought on by the guilt of sin or the difficulties of life. Both can threaten to bury us. These things have even led to spiritual death.
May I suggest that we need the same three tools for our spiritual escape. We have a beacon (Ps. 119:105), yet it also serves as a probe (Heb. 4:12) and a shovel (cf. Ps. 107:20; 147:16ff). He also blesses us through prayer and providence. Through all He does, God provides us a way of escape (1 Co. 10:13)! We can survive, even in those times when problems crowd into our lives and threaten to bury us! God is greater and stronger. When swept up, hold on! Help is on the way.