Open the Flow

I may be late to the party but I have lived my whole life without an irrigation system for my yard. I have lived in lots of places in lots of houses, but none of them required a dedicated irrigation system. A move to sunny Florida changed all that. 

You can imagine my surprise when I was sitting outside one pre-dawn morning drinking coffee and water started spraying in all directions in my yard. I quickly transitioned back inside to keep from getting watered myself. 

Turns out, in Florida, either I water all the time or an irrigation system does. Fortunately, the house we purchased came with one installed. 

Fast forward a couple of months, and our irrigation pump died due to a three-day Florida freeze over. We had it replaced, however, over time we noticed plants beginning to wither and trees losing their color. Some areas of the yard were greening up well with new spring life, others were not. We all attributed the decline to the winter hit. 

Then one morning, the pump woke me up whining. The few sprinkler heads that were still working only gurgled out water instead of reaching out the typical 6-foot spray. Chuck turned the pump off. We promptly went on the hunt for an irrigation doctor and readied ourselves for another new pump purchase, or worse a whole new system.

But the surprise of surprises, the irrigation doctor showed up, looked everything over, and told us our pump was fine. The problem was instead an 8-inch section of above-ground piping leading from the well to the pump. 

Say what?? Eight inches of plastic pipe had shut down my whole irrigation system? Yes. 

The well water was fine, clean, and ready to be dispersed.
The pump was new and had the appropriate size and strength for the task. 

But somewhere, someone had installed a half-inch smaller pipe between the two. That simple constriction of water flow forced a leak and stole the pressure needed to activate the pump and shoot the water out all over my thirsty yard.

I was standing there in my yard watching all of this play out and I just said out loud, “ I am listening Lord. I am listening. You have my full attention.”

The Well: Jesus said that we would have rivers of living water spring up within us. Just like the unseen well somewhere deep under my yard, we have all the water we need for all the living God has called us to. Some water is for creating beauty, some for giving to others, some just for Him, and some for our own sustenance.  He has enough water for it all. Do we trust that? 

The Pump: It pays to check the condition of our hearts. Like the pump, our heart has the power to distribute all the love to all the places God calls us to.  Proverbs make it clear that we are to “above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).  

Here is a bonus about that pump and our hearts. It works best under pressure. 

In fact, the right kind of pressure produces life far beyond ourselves. So don’t wish for a problem-free, pain-free life. Don’t try to create a life with no stress or strain, or you might find yourself whining in the wee hours from the lack of adequate water flow. You see,  the pressure is what draws the water from the well, through the pump and outward. 


Finally. That damn pipe. 

Before we bought this house, somebody tried to Make Do. Tried to ignore the facts.  As Brene Brown points out, perhaps they did the best they could, but fundamentally they did not understand the potential damage of closing off the flow of water. 

I hate to admit it, but this God lesson hit me right in the middle of a constricted flow moment in my own life. 

Jesus was quick to let me know I have a good heart. I have living water deep inside.  But I had allowed fear and doubt to make me small and constricted the flow of His living water. So then my heart could not function well under the right kind of pressure and areas in my life began gasping for a drink. 

The solution was a new right-sized pipe, or in my case, right-sized faith. 

So pay attention. How’s your water flow? How is the condition of those living within range of your water? How’s your heart? Is it fully functioning under pressure, or whining in the wee hours? 

Just in case you need a referral, Jesus is a great irrigation doctor too.