Washing the car or watering plants may not be the most challenging activity, but it can be when you have a hose that won’t cooperate. Picture yourself turning the water pressure on and the hose looks like it should carry the water to the end, but what should be a continuous flow is only a trickle. After further investigation, you find the kink which limits the flow of water. A little adjustment in the hose results in a return of the flow to the end of the hose.
Like the kinked hose illustration above, so our lives go with the flow of God’s grace and blessings. The flow and the power of the flow comes from God and is there for us day after day, but what could be and should be a daily loading of abundance of overflow often seems like a trickle, like the hose is kinked. We soon begin to wonder what’s up with promises and where is this loading with benefits and blessings every day?
What happened? How does our hose, or the channel of God’s blessings, get kinked? There are a number of kinks described in the Bible. Let’s look at three: ingratitude, pride, and bitterness.
When God brought His people out of Egypt, He prepared them for enjoying the greatest blessings of the Promised Land as He pointed out the need to be a people of gratitude. Otherwise, they would slip into taking Him for granted and eventually just forget about Him. Ingratitude would then result in kinking the hose or in their cutting off themselves from enjoying God’s best.
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (ESV) 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.
Gratitude is simply keeping our eyes open to what He is doing and expressing thanks to Him. It keeps the channel of God’s blessing running free and clear. It’s not hard to be grateful. It takes discipline to keep from the pride of thinking we enjoy what we do by our own doing or attribute the things we have and enjoy to anything other than God. Are you a person of gratitude? Maybe you could “unkink” the channel of blessing and enjoy more of what God has for you today if you would discipline yourself to be a person of gratitude and avoid the kink of ungratefulness.
In addition to a lack of gratitude, pride keeps us from expressing our dependence upon Him, even by asking Him for help, or accepting the help He extends which in turn makes for a major kink in the pipeline.
Psalm 81:10-16 (ESV) 10 I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. 11 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. 13 Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! 14 I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes. 15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him, and their fate would last forever. 16 But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Watching out for signs of ingratitude or pride is important, but so is keeping a careful eye for the third cause for a kink in the line: bitterness. Bitterness is like the tree root in a water line, just when you think you have it wiped out, the roots push back into the line and clog the line.
Hebrews 12:15 (ESV) See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
We may be mad at God for a disappointment in the past, or ticked off at someone for whom we should extend forgiveness, or just down on life. Allowing the downward spiral of bitterness to take control will eventually close off the flow of grace. Who wants that to happen?
So what can we do?
Inspect the line of grace that flows from God TODAY and every day. Every blessing we have in life is by His sovereign grace. We deserve nothing. But He has given us some clear instruction in His Word that if we want to enjoy the flow of His grace and blessing, we need to keep the line open and free of kinks. TODAY, unkink the flow by focusing on being a person of gratitude, seek God’s help as you seek to be like a baby bird with their mouth wide open in total dependence to be fed, and be a person who works at wiping out the bitterness through forgiveness and kindness.
Are you satisfied with a trickle, or would you like the flow? Watch out for a kinked hose.