Gully Washers ~ Helping Others Through Life’s Raging Rivers

Raging River

Raging River ~ a gully washer

Down south, when it rains hard, we call it a gully washer.  These are the kind of rainstorms where the water gushes down into gutters and through culverts, with flash flood strength.

Raging River Prehistoric

Raging River Prehistoric

I took these photos near the end of one, still showing the force of water rushing into a gutter.  While it collected, the water almost looked like a prehistoric animal.

Raging River Demon

Raging River Demon

This one looked like it had the face of a demon ~ creepy! 

Gully Washers of Life

As my husband and I recently discovered, life’s gully washers can certainly hit with demon-forced strength.  We both still feel like we got pounded!  Like for us, the raging of the flood can last long and grow strong enough to try to sweep you away.

Through it, though, we once again found that there is help and hope no matter the intensity or outcome of the battle.  And a way to look beyond one’s own circumstances and bless others along the way.

The day I captured these pictures was a Sunday.  The rain had just drenched the road in front of my church, before I left for home.  Were it not for the kindness of a parishioner, who had laid bricks as stepping-stones, those of us leaving would have had to traverse a raging river to the parking lot.  The raised brick walkway instead enabled us to make it to our cars with a smile on our faces and dry toes in our shoes.

Help Others During Gully Washers

The thoughtfulness of the brick layer got me to thinking about things we can do to help someone going through a gully washer in life.  Even if we are still in the midst of one ourselves.

We all face times of stormy trials.  With God’s help, we can make it safely to the other side and learn invaluable lessons of endurance.  Lessons designed to equip us to encourage others going through difficulties.  As our circumstances grow us, He doesn’t want us to live in a vacuum. 

Instead, by His power, God wants our lives always on display, shining His light and being used for His purposes.  As Jim and I learned throughout his hospital journey, opportunities for doing so presented daily, and were often just simple acts of kindness on our part.  Some, though, required courageous acts of restraint when issues arose.

Stepping Stones of God’s Light During Gully Washers

In some form or fashion, we can all be stepping-stones of help, light or encouragement to those God places in our path:

We can simply listen and show that we care.  Really listen, to comfort and understand.

We can go out of our way to offer a helping hand.  Or simply hold a hurting hand in need.

We can forgive, even when doing so hurts and the offense seems justified.

We can pray, in earnest, with heart-wrenching, gully washing tears.

Such kind consideration for others models that of our Good Shepherd, who leads us through every storm to places where pastures are green and waters are still.

Raging River ~ Reaching for Help

Raging River ~ do you see the shape of a stick figure, reaching up for help?

With God’s help, we don’t have to suffer through struggles alone.  We can reach out to the One who calms the storms.  But when we reach the seasons of peaceful valleys, Jesus asks that we not grow complacent by neglecting those around us hurting and in need.

With Christ as our example, deeds of comfort and compassion may be their only bricks over the gully washer; the only chance they have of making it safely through to the other side of their raging river.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3, 4

*****

**I would love to hear from you.  Tell of a time when God used a storm or trial as an avenue for you to bless others. 

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Gully Washers ~ Helping Others Through Life’s Raging Rivers

  1. Karina Susanto

    Dear sis Sue,
    I am really glad could read back your awesome post this evening. I really love the analogy that you used. Beyond of my mind. Really!! The gully washer was a great analogy. I also love your statement: With God’s help, we don’t have to suffer through struggles alone. We can reach out to the One who calms the storms. But when we reach the seasons of peaceful valleys, Jesus asks that we not grow complacent by neglecting those around us hurting and in need.” so touching my heart and mind. By the way, welcome back,sis. I have missed your great writing. Have a blessed day to you,sis.

    Reply
  2. Annette Hand

    Thank you for this Sue! I really needed to hear this today. I think God planned it for this day for me. He is so good like that! Love you!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply
  3. Wendy Macdonald

    Sue, it’s so nice to see you back. You’ve both been through such an intense storm.

    Your question about a time God used us to bless someone brought to mind something from my childhood. When I was 12, a good friend called to invite me over to her house. I was secretly mad at her and was going to decline until she told me her dad had just died. So, of course, I felt like a heel and went straight over to see her.

    It wasn’t until 25 years later, when my own dad died suddenly, that I found out how much that visit had meant to her. She stood by me and even came to the service and gathering afterwards. I had a baby and toddler in tow and she offered to care for them and help me clean up my Dad’s apartment even though she was suffering from Lupus. I didn’t need to take her up on her physical help—but her prayers and her love carried me through a devastating time. She told me that she had never forgotten how I had helped her through her rough spell of grief and that she still appreciated it.

    The moral of this story is that we need to reach out…even in our imperfection. God can perfect our efforts. It sure wasn’t me that was the source of anything good.

    Blessings & welcome back ~ Wendy ❀

    Reply
    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Thanks for sharing your story, Wendy. I love how God brought it full circle to blessing you back, after that you had been faithful to be a blessing to your friend. And after your decision to set aside your own hurt feelings to help her. God is so faithful and good. How could we ever withhold that goodness, which He has placed in us through the Spirit. It’s good to be back, but I am having to do a slow return to blogging!

      Reply
  4. Jane Bridges

    Great pictures and great word, Sue. Thanks for getting back on here and blessing us through your pictures and words again!! Love you…

    Reply
  5. Lilka Raphael

    Sue I’m so happy to see you!

    That is a beautiful post with a great message. Sometimes the very thing we need to get our minds off our troubles it to help someone through theirs. I find it always helps to put things in perspective and we receive more than we give.
    Peace, continued healing and restoration to you and your hubby!

    Reply
  6. PaperGiftsForEstefany

    Hi Sue, good to see you getting back on deck. I’ve been invited to take part in a September blog hop adventure. Are either you or Jim interested? (Or maybe you have already been invited…?) The idea is: You will need to answer the following 4 questions in your post and then introduce 3 blogging friends of your choice.

    · What am I writing or working on?
    · How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    · Why do I write what I write?
    · How does my process work?

    Please take a look at this link for an example of how it works: http://aliajoy.com/writing-questions-blog-hop/

    If you are interested, I will need your profile photo and a maximum 100 word profile / introduction of yourself, so that I can introduce you in my post. I will be featuring my own post for this sometime in September, so will need it pretty soon. The great thing about this blog hop is that it’s a creative way of getting your blog before different audiences and giving them the opportunity to connect with you. If you let me know when your post goes live, I will help to promote your post if you decide to participate. I am only able to select the first 3 people to respond back to me, so please kindly let me know asap if you are interested. Thanks and God bless! 🙂

    (Please delete after reading)

    Reply
    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Good to be back, but unfortunately I am still doing only limited posts. Jim is still very weak and we are both trying to get back into some semblance of a routine. I do appreciate the invite, but am just not able yet to participate. It is a great idea and I thank you for thinking of me. Blessings always!!!

      Reply
  7. Unshakable Hope

    Excellent post, Sue!
    As I was reading, I began thinking about all the people that have helped us through this “gully washer,” and most of them have been through, or are still in a gully washer themselves.

    Reply
  8. cuffesisters

    I’m late catching up, but this is just the day I needed to read this. Thank you sooooo much for the positive encouragement. Your post blessed me indeed! (as do you always!) 🙂

    Reply
  9. Mikey

    Dear Sue,

    First and foremost it is good to have you back. Thanks for this post and the encouraging words, that despite our own affliction, we can be used by God to encourage others who are going through gully washers of their own; if only to hold a person’s hand.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and especially the like for hiseternalword. May The Lord continue to bless and encourage others from your writings!

    In His love – Mikey

    Reply

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