In many ways, Texas recently became a parable for our culture.
During our long freeze, the weatherman promised the sun would return in a week, but the news anchor couldn’t predict when the power would be restored. Most of us were much more interested in the electricity than the weatherman’s promise for the coming week.
And that is a parable for those of us who want to share our faith.
Our best answer, the one we could count on, was a week away. Even still, we were less interested in the long-term answer because that power didn’t make promises for the moment, just the future. And, we need to hear many of God’s promises with that same perspective.
It was a tough week, and now things are better. The weatherman was right, and we are glad. I’ve spent the month writing about God’s voice and our need to listen.
What are the lessons from last week’s parable?
GOD OFFERS PERSPECTIVE
All of us go to God for today’s needs. Jesus taught us to pray for “our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). But Jesus also taught, “ I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Jesus promised us his peace, but he also promised we would need it. This world is going to freeze again. Spring is coming, but so is another February.
It is so important to seek God’s voice for our lives, not just our days. His answers sometimes take years to receive or realize. Listening for God’s wisdom requires God’s perspective. Scripture, prayer, and God’s Holy Spirit can provide strength for the moments of our lives, but often his most important instruction is for eternal—not present—circumstances.
GOD WILL ALWAYS CONSIDER EVERYONE
The people in charge of the Texas power grid cut power to millions for a time so that everyone would have power in the future. Texas reserved power for those who needed it most. And those of us who did without were reminded of all we tend to take for granted.
But even when it got down to forty-something degrees in my kitchen, I was glad that my kids, and their kids, were warm. I was glad the hospitals had power. I was glad the cold was only for a week. And I was especially glad that the people who knew a lot more than me were responsible for making the tough choices.
I imagine it was a tremendously difficult decision for those who cut the power to people’s homes, knowing it was freezing outside. But, they did what was best, not what was easy.
God has a unique love for each of us. He has a plan for every life. And only God has the ability to take care of everyone forever. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Ash Wednesday got lost in the snow. But Cynthia Izaguirre, a Dallas newscaster, did her best to remind people things would get better and why. She closed the broadcast on Ash Wednesday, not with words of hope about electricity, but with words of eternal hope.
I felt much warmer and much safer when our power was restored. I still wake up and smile because I know my coffee pot is out there and ready to go! I took a lot of things for granted, and I know I will likely take them for granted again.
But today, I am grateful.
The people in charge of the grid should have been better prepared. Hopefully, by the time February rolls around again, they will be. A lot of us in Texas had a bad week. Others will have a bad year trying to repair the damage. Still others lost their lives. The Texas power grid couldn’t thaw the snow or protect us, but the sun did. And that might be the biggest lesson from last week’s story.
The warmth God brought through the sun is what caused the snow to melt. Electricity kept us safe in our homes, but God’s provision is what enabled us to get back to normal. Last week was rough; this week is wonderful. And so goes life on this side of heaven.
The power grid restored my heat, but it was God who brought warmth. The weatherman knew what he could promise last week and he did. The news anchor couldn’t promise electricity, but she could promise hope.
LESSONS FROM THE GREAT THAW
I can promise God is speaking, guiding, and directing the path of those who trust in him. I am like the weatherman who can make promises that depend on the truth of God’s creation and character, found in the truth of God’s word. It would have been wrong for those in the news to promise our heat would return quickly. That depended on people being able to fix the problems.
What can we learn about God through what we have experienced?
We should never underestimate the power of warmth. For many years, we have been making strong arguments by using strong language to share God’s truth. We have been trying to present a powerful, united front to the world and hope our politics would legislate morality. We have been trying to build bigger and better churches, thinking that such an effort would attract people to God.
But, the end result is a power grid that failed. Our ideas and best-laid plans might provide a momentary fix, but it isn’t God’s solution. Our culture needs warmth because our culture needs disciples. People aren’t left in the cold when they are led to the Son.
We are like the weatherman. We can’t create God’s answers; we only report his hope. We have to be careful not to promise for this life what God has not promised.
Jesus promised tribulation. Jesus promised his peace. Jesus promised we could live with hope. Jesus promised our hope would one day be our reward.
Until then, we are to accept the storms, endure the cold, and wait for the warmth. It always returns. Mostly, we are to use our lives to lead as many people to the Son as we possibly can.
One last “report” from a “weatherman”: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Don’t just read that verse today; hear Jesus speak his promise to you.
God speaks to servants who listen.
Allow God’s truth to warm your soul until your hope becomes his reward.