Most of the time the gutter works fine, but after a torrential rain one night recently, we woke to a carport an inch deep in water. Now how did that happen?
Keith got out the blower and blew most of the water off to run on downhill in about ten minutes. A couple mornings later, after another stormy night, he had to do it again, and we were still mystified. Then one afternoon we solved the mystery.
The rain began before dark this time. Thunder rumbled in the northwest and the wind picked up to gusts instead of breezes, especially high in the treetops. The temperature dropped ten degrees. Before long, the azaleas began to bounce as scattered drops began to fall. Within five minutes the bottom fell out and you could hardly see the bird feeder fifteen feet from the door.
We stepped out onto the porch under a roar of rain on the metal roof so loud we had to yell at one another. And there we saw the problem. A small cluster of twigs, moss, and leaves barely peeked over the edge of the gutter, bobbing slightly as the water tried to run through it. Most, however, overflowed the gutter at that point, tracing a route along the rounded bottom of the gutter to pour directly on the car and the carport floor around it.
Keith grabbed my little household three-step ladder and headed out the door. It only took a moment to realize that the only way to fix this was to get wet. So he stepped out into the rain, set up the ladder and climbed it, making odd squealing noises during the whole process. Did I mention that this was in the early spring? That rain was cold. But as soon as he removed the blockage, the water rushed down the length of the gutter and spewed like a fire hydrant from the bottom of the downspout. Not another drop hit the carport floor.
Now don't start tut-tutting. He had cleaned out those gutters—several times—the last time only a week before. But in North Florida, most leaves fall in the late winter and early spring, not in the fall. Second, we had had a stormier, windier spring than usual with far more leaves, pollen and moss falling than usual. Third, that obstruction he moved was hardly a handful, yet it still had a tremendous effect.
So here is the question this morning: What obstruction in your life is blocking the free flow of your witness? What is blocking your influence? What is hindering your service to others? Laziness, selfishness, worldliness, or a host of other things can easily get in the way, and it doesn't take much to make a real mess of your mission as a servant of God.
Blow out your gutters. What is damming up the flow of goodness within you may also be damning your soul.
…we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. (1Cor 9:12)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; (Rom 1:18).