Years ago I met a man named Igor who told me a story I’ve never forgotten. As a child growing up in the Soviet Union, Igor always believed communism’s assumption that God does not exist.
Yet as a gifted medical student and scientist, Igor studied the intricacies of the human body and natural world and struggled over their implications. Such precision in nature demanded a Designer—something his deep-rooted atheism refused to embrace.
Then one day as he and a friend drove through a wintry countryside, Igor saw a distant snowman all alone in the middle of a field—and the truth struck him. He slammed on the brakes.
“Look!” he said, pointing to the snowman. “How did that get there?”
His friend replied with the obvious answer: “Somebody built it.”
“There was no way,” Igor told me, “the details of nature just happened by chance. I decided I must find the truth.” Just as the snowman had to have been made by someone, so did nature.
Seeking the Truth
Igor went to libraries to try to find out about God. But communism had banned Bibles from public access. So he consulted atheistic authors who railed against Christianity. As Igor pored over the volumes and considered the critics’ words, the Scriptures they quoted were more compelling than the atheistic arguments!
And with only these bits of Scripture, Igor gave his heart to Jesus Christ.
God used His natural revelation—everything from science to a snowman!—to communicate His existence to Igor.
Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. —Romans 1:20
But God used His special revelation, the Scriptures—as quoted from the pens of unbelievers—to convert Igor from a reluctant atheist into a believing Christian . . . all behind the seemingly impenetrable Iron Curtain.
God’s Natural Revelation Points to His Special Revelation
With a silent voice as powerful as a prophet, God used a snowman to debunk the assumptions of atheism and to prepare a skeptic for believing the obvious. But it took God’s Word for the skeptic to believe in Christ.
God’s grace has always operated this way:
- The prostitute Rahab responded to the news of God’s power; God sent her messengers to explain more to her—and she believed (Joshua 2:8-11; Hebrews 11:31).
- The Ethiopian eunuch read the Old Testament and responded favorably; God sent him Philip who spoke of Jesus—and the eunuch believed (Acts 8:26-38).
- The centurion Cornelius sought God through the Jewish Law; God sent Peter to Cornelius at Caesarea to tell him about Jesus—and he believed in Christ (Acts 10:1-48).
- The Soviet Igor saw the intelligent design in science (and in a snowman); God provided Scripture that pointed to Jesus—and Igor believed.
The claim that those without Jesus are unfairly condemned doesn’t hold water. Scripture shows even in places where the message of God isn’t known, if someone responds to God’s natural revelation favorably, the Lord will send him or her more revelation to respond to. And ultimately, He will send them the saving gospel message of Christ.
Many feel the tug of God on their hearts, but like the reluctant Saul, they “kick against the goads” (Acts 9). They resist God’s prodding to believe in Jesus.
Pray that those whom God prepares will respond to His Word by faith in Jesus Christ.
And join me in praying that God’s snowmen in Russia never melt.
Tell me what you think: Do you know of any stories like Igor’s? To leave a comment, just click here.
Adapted from Wayne Stiles, “God’s Snowman in Russia” Insights (April 2006). Copyright © 2006 by Insight for Living Ministries. All rights reserved worldwide.