Did I have a lot of fun last week or what?
I’m having new gutters installed on my house! To save money, I opted to tear off the old gutters per the installer’s directions. Simple, right? Ummmmm, yeah.
Well, first I had to haul out the step ladder and the really long, unwieldy extension ladder that I think can actually reach the International Space Station. Next, I had to pull together the tools I needed and then rent an electric shear (like the manual tin snips, but far less prone to develop carpal tunnel syndrome after 5 minutes).
Then it was up and down the ladder, up and down, up and down. I wrestled bent, twisted, and dropped half-connected gutters all while keeping an eye on what looked like the threat of bad weather. THAT had me worried more than anything.
You see, my basement would have a water problem without gutters on the house. I purposefully bought extra-long extenders for the downspouts to make sure the water was kicked away from the house … faaaaar away from the house. Not kidding. I don’t want water getting into the foundation.
But the night after I removed the old gutters and before the new gutters were installed a BIG storm rolled in. I not only woke up from the roar of the thunder (which I like), but I also woke up from the smash of the rain dumping on my gutter-less house. As I lay in the dark all I could think of was how furiously the sump pump would be working. The only way I could get back to sleep was to tell myself there was nothing I could do. I would just have to trust that everything would work out.
In the morning I rushed downstairs to check the sump pump and breathed a great sigh of relief. No overflowing water! It’s amazing how we don’t appreciate great things like gutters until we really need them.
And now, the analogy.
Gutters are important for two reasons. One reason is to keep the water from flowing off the roof, soaking the ground next to the house, and saturating the house’s foundation. The second reason is to channel the water to where you DO want it to go … into the lawn, or a rain garden which captures the water and creates beauty in one’s yard.
The cares of life fall on us like rain on a roof. Sometimes it’s a gentle shower reminding us of ongoing needs or concerns. Sometimes it’s a downpour the likes of which we’ve never seen … a sudden death or illness, the unexpected bill arrives and your bank account is nearly empty, a relationship suddenly goes sour, or any of the other “delightful” things life pours on us.
We try to handle these cares by ourselves. It works about as well as running around the house with a bucket trying to catch all the water running off the roof. It just ain’t gonna work.
But what does God say?
“…Casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).
God is clear and God does not lie. He loves His children and He cares for us. Our cares become His cares, just as a parent cares for their child’s cares.
God promised, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). This is the same as what God promised the Israelites through Moses, “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
These promises mean the One who takes our cares upon Himself will always be with us and therefore all our cares can be always gathered up and directed to Him if we will let Him.
God is our spiritual gutter, so to speak. When the cares of life descend upon us, we can always bring our troubles to Him. This is the way we mentally and emotionally “gutter away” the rain of cares.
Not only does doing this help keep daily cares from wrecking the foundation of our lives and causing even more damage but entrusting our cares to God’s control redirects those situations into places where He can make good use of them. This often creates beautiful landscapes through the testimonies we share with others who may be experiencing a downpour on a gutter-less (God-less) life.
So, give it a go. Gather up the rain of concerns you’re going through right now and pour them into God’s hands. And during the next storm of life that comes, and it will come, you can keep doing so and rest assured that all will be well.
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts