For want of a gutter

Over the past several days the heavens have opened and we’ve been deluged with rain, rain and more rain.  We have reportedly received 3-4″ of rain in just a few days!  The Glendive Creek resembles more of a rushing river.  The Yellowstone River is overflowing its banks.  Basements around town are soggy and flooded.  A neighboring county has declared a state of emergency.  During the height of the storm, we literally filled a 13-gallon garbage can three times to overflowing trying to catch what was dripping from a bad section of roof in our entryway.

But watching the news, I consider ourselves still quite fortunate given the widespread devastation due to flooding and tornadoes.  In fact, John and I were recently discussing just how thankful we were for the limited water damage we experienced due to the storms.  We only had some water leakage into the basement bathroom and storage room. Considering our home is over 100 years old, I feel like we fared quite well.  As we were discussing things, however, John mentioned that if we were to install rain gutters along the back of the house, our water leakage would be virtually eliminated in the future.

Simple rain gutters!  Untold damage around town resulted for want of a gutter (or two or three).  Hassles and heartache could have been easily prevented by the simple and proper installation of a gutter.  As I considered the potential destruction and devastation caused by a basement flooding and the relative ease at its prevention, I began to reflect on how similar that situation is to our own lives.

Untold damage in our own lives results for want of a Purpose and Guide.  Hassles and heartache can be prevented by the simple and proper use of daily time spent in Scripture and prayer.  The proper perspective and priorities with a heart surrendered to Christ are like gutters diverting disastrous floodwaters from our lives.  Now surely I don’t mean to suggest your life will be perfect without problems or challenges.  That is hardly the case.  This life and world are full of struggles.  They just are.  However, with Jesus as our “gutter” we can be protected and comforted when rainwater deluges and threatens to flood and overwhelm.

And the thing about gutters is this – they must be in place before the storms come.  While John has intended to install the gutters on our home for awhile now, his intention did nothing to divert the rain from flooding into our basement.  Had he climbed on top of the roof in the middle of the raging storm, they would have been only minimally helpful (if at all).  If he were to install them this weekend they would do nothing to help dry out the already-wet sheetrock, flooring and cabinets.

That’s true for our relationship with Christ as well.  Our interaction and communion with Jesus isn’t intended just as a 911-emergency call in the midst of crisis, or a clean-up crew after we find ourselves drowning in the consequences of sin and poor decisions.  Don’t get me wrong – He will be there and walk with you through all that.  But the relationship He desires, intends and invites you to is so much richer and more meaningful.

Wherever you find yourself today – in the midst of a storm, or in a calm moment you hope lasts forever, take time to install your “gutters”.  Be intentional about developing your relationship with Christ.  Read His word.  Speak to Him in prayer.  Be silent and listen for His voice.  Orient and align your life, your values and your priorities to His ways.  Prepare today for the storms of tomorrow.  Do not leave yourself unprepared and for want of a gutter.

How do you intentionally develop and grow your relationship with Christ?  How is He your “gutter”?