The Rain Barrel

The Rain Barrel 

Early this morning I woke up and almost immediately a simple analogy dropped into my heart.  I wasn’t thinking about it – it simply came to my mind.  A God breathed inspiration. 

I recently bought a new rain barrel, to catch the rain water from our roof  to use for watering my plants.  Of course it has to be positioned properly under a downspout, so the water can simply pour in through the screened in opening. The thoughts came like this: 

I want to be like a rain barrel!  It is positioned under the flow of water to receive the heaven-sent rain.  The barrel has a tap near the bottom which is turned on as needed to fill watering cans or buckets.  As long as there is water above the tap level, I can use it when the need arises, to easily fill my containers and then pour it over my thirsty flowers.  

The barrel also has an overflow hose.  When the barrel is full, it simply flows out in an extension of its holding capacity.  The barrel doesn’t have to do anything but be a receptor of the source of water, and the excess just streams out to water the surrounding area. It is a reservoir of potential blessing! 

There is also an attached connector that joins barrels together.  Again, when there is sufficient water inside one barrel, it automatically flows into the next one…filling it as well. 

This barrel also has a lid and a small screened opening to allow water to come in, but keep out debris and impurities that can clog the spout. 

The analogies are obvious.  We need to position ourselves under the flow of life-giving water that is Jesus Christ.  He is the Source.  As we spend time in His presence, we drink deeply from His never-ending supply and it springs up within us as the life and power of the Holy Spirit does its work.  Whenever we interact with another  “thirsty soul”, we can “open up the tap” and pour into them of what we ourselves have freely received.  Our vessels can simply be a conduit of blessing to others, as we are filled, prepared and willing to share the abundance of Heaven. 

When the barrel is only partly full…it can still do this, although it may take a little effort to “open the tap”.  But, when it is filled to the brim, and running over…it simply cannot stop the water from escaping.  As quickly as more water pours in, it flows out and soaks the surrounding ground.  It cannot be contained!  And neither can the vessel filled with living waters.  As we spend time soaking up God’s word and His presence, His Spirit pours into us from His endless reservoir, and we can’t help but water those around us that we interact with. 

The connectors illustrate how the Body of Christ can bless, encourage, and minister to one another.  When I am filled…it carries forward to help fill my brother or sister up with the Living water, so they in turn can do the same.  There is a responsibility on my part to contribute to the flow of life as a corporate body.  We can all be a part of ensuring that no one remains empty and dry! 

We need to ensure that there are “screens” in place over our hearts and minds that filter out anything that will obstruct the free flow of thirst-quenching liquid.  This protects the supply of water within us as well as enables us to keep our “tap” functioning properly.  The Word of God gives us much instruction about keeping our vessels pure, and is the filter that never changes and never needs changing! 

Obviously this analogy falls a little short, in that there are times of drought when the barrel has nothing in it.  We can certainly go through dry seasons, and that’s partly when we need our Church family more than ever, and when we need to seek out the Oasis of God’s love.  This Source of water will never fail, never run out and never be inadequate.  Jesus is always waiting to pour more of Himself into us, and He invites us to be immersed in His river of life!  

So, Lord, I want to stand faithfully in my place and be like a humble rain barrel that You can overflow with Your limitless living water!  I pray that You will pour in and then out of me with the only water that eternally satisfies!