This has been one of the coldest weeks on record. We’ve all been troubled to learn just how deeply our state failed to properly prepare for emergencies like this. One can find temporary warmth in unfocused anger, or we can bask in the permanence of truth. I suggest the latter.

But let us be clear: it hasn’t just been a lack of prior preparation on behalf of our political class, it has been a carefully considered misdirection. Texas lawmakers have ignored calls to strengthen and secure the electric grid, preferring instead to seek cultural glory by spending billions of taxpayer dollars on unreliable and unproven energy schemes. What we learned this week is that even that price tag isn’t nearly as high as what it has cost Texans.

In Peter’s Second Epistle, we find these words: “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”

Too many politicians were overcome by the whispered promises of lobbyists. Just weeks before the massive power outages, the governor himself was accepting accolades for his commitment to these unproven and unreliable energy sources from lobbyists seeking more of the taxpayers’ money. He’s not alone; Texas politicians and lobbyists have enslaved us to cronyism of the worst, most dangerous, sort.

First, a set of questions: What will lawmakers do about it? What will they change? What will they fix?

Better questions might be: What we will do about it? What will we fix?

We need to think about what we have been tolerating, and therefore enabling, in our political culture.

Second, we need to remind ourselves daily of the words of Jesus from John 16: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

It is a cold, hard truth that we will continue to experience troubles and tribulations, but we can take warmth from the knowledge that they are confidently addressed in part by viewing the world through the lens that Jesus has already secured for us that which is most important.