“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)
Recently there was a big tank truck parked on the street in front of my house. The city utility workers had pulled off the manhole cover and sucked out ‘you know what’ from the sewer system. It was smelly. It was loud. It blocked traffic and was extremely unpleasant for the entire neighborhood. However, it reminded me that underneath my city runs a vast, complicated and essential network of utility pipes. I can’t see them, but they are there. And sometimes they get clogged.
Human beings also have large, complex networks underneath their surface. Past experiences, future expectations, current environment and emotions all feed into our attitudes. Two people can look at the same situation and, depending on their ‘piping’, will have completely different reactions. Our personal underground pipes are just as essential to our well being as they are to my city. And, like my city’s pipes, they can also get clogged.
Being laid off or fired from a job. A destructive relationship. Disease, depression, betrayal. These situations can wreck havoc on our personal pipes. Have you ever felt bitterness that eats your stomach like acid? Or depression that presses in on you so tightly that it’s hard to breathe? Or anger that won’t let go of you, but plays over and over in your mind like a hamster on a wheel? These are clogs. They are smelly, unpleasant, and they can make your life miserable.
The New Testament is full of clogged people. The rich young man who wanted to add ‘salvation’ to his list of accomplishments (Matthew 19:16-26). His clog was pride. Jarius’s daughter (Luke 8:49-56). His clog—despair. The adulteress about to be stoned (John8:2-11). Her clog was hopelessness, and the clog of the men about to stone her was self-righteousness.
Jesus faced all of these clogs and more, but it’s important to note that he didn’t do it alone. He had his team of city utility workers (the disciples). He had his big city truck to suck out the filth (the Old Testament scriptures). And, perhaps most important of all, he had a perfect map of the underground piping inside people, because the Holy Spirit discerns the human heart (Hebrews 4:13).
No one likes thinking about our smelly clogged pipes, but we do not have to deal with them by ourselves. We have a whole utility company ready to help. Read the scriptures. Call on your Christian friends and counselors. Dial God’s phone number by going to him in prayer. Help is available. Make the call.