Long ago, my wife Shannon and I lived in Houston, Texas. It was where we bought our first home. It is where our daughter was born. We have many good memories from our days in the land of bluebonnets.
There is one memory that is not so good. A cold front fell far south. Freezing temperatures gripped the land just like last week. I remember that helpless feeling. We knew it was coming three days out, but there was very little we could do. That area does not expect hard freezes.
Most Houston homes are built on a flat concrete slab. The water lines enter the house through outside walls and are run entirely through the attic above the insulation. Even though I had insulated the outdoor water line, I remember the sinking feeling when the water “went away.” There was no indication anything was wrong (other than nothing coming out of the open faucet!)
It would take 24 to 36 hrs after the warmth returned. I finally heard spraying water “from above” inside the house. As broken, frozen pipes thawed, the water finally flowed, but in places you normally don’t see water flowing. It flowed from the ceiling. It flowed down the walls. It was a mess.
I remembered that feeling as I watched the news this last week. I wondered if the same pipes we fixed over 30 years ago broke in the same places again. I wondered if neighbors were going house to house with buckets of water again. And I prayed for all the people enduring something that was “not expected.”
Our lives have become an exercise of living in the unexpected. We want things to stay predictable, but they just don’t. Well, there is one thing that is predictable. God renews repentant hearts. Don’t let Lent run past you this year. Let us all come to the cross renewed at the end of March (our Lenten Sermon Series is “ReNEWed!”) May the spiritual fountain of God’s grace be an unstoppable flow out of our hearts INTO our homes, our lives, and our world.
And instead of making a mess, may it clean up a few (in us)…that’s Lent!