In March of 2021, as my part of southeast Texas dealt with another historic weather event, I realized in order to make room for renewal, we must remove what is damaged first.
Instead of our usual hurricane disasters, this disaster was Winter Storm Uri. Uri created the coldest temperatures the area has endured in over one hundred years, plunging us into a perilous deep freeze.
While other parts of the country experienced catastrophic conditions from this storm as well, these conditions are something our area isn’t used to dealing with over such a sustained period of time.
Across the area, wind chill temperatures fell below zero for multiple days.
Temperatures hovered in the single digits some nights and stayed below freezing most of the week.
Snow and ice-covered streets created hazardous driving conditions, shut down businesses, and canceled COVID vaccine appointments.
People in our area had no power to provide heat and electricity for days. There was no water. Frozen water pipes burst inside and outside homes. The area was under a boil water notice. Over thirty in our city died. Some died from carbon monoxide poisoning as they sought to keep warm in their cars. Some died from hypothermia.
Despite these bleak conditions, hope shone through. Restaurant owners stepped up and provided free meals and water to those without. Businesses with power and water opened their doors for folks to come in and get warm.
As our winter turns to spring, beneath what was lost, there is new life. There is new hope. There is a new renewal.
Plants the cold decimated show signs of new life. Flowers bloom once again. Leaves bud on trees. Green grass replaces brown.
At times we may feel as desperate as my area of Texas felt during the bleakest hours of the storm. We’re not quite sure how long this disaster will last.
There is no light to see a way out. The bitter cold destroyed so much. In the aftermath, all we see is brokenness and damage.
But there is new life waiting to emerge. There is hope beneath the surface. God is making a way for renewal to begin.
My yard doesn’t look pretty right now. So much of what I enjoyed and cared for had to be removed. It looks rather barren. But each day, I see new growth. I see hope. I see God making a way for renewal.
Just as I needed to remove the weather-damaged plants to make room for new growth, sometimes, when we come through those bleak winter events of life, we need to remove what is damaged to make room for renewal.
In what areas of your life have you experienced new hope and new growth? Where have you seen God making a way for renewal?
I wish you well.