The ripple effect
Sitting beside the pond the day after my son’s wedding, I was thinking about how beautiful the wedding was, how thankful I am for our new daughter-in-law, and what a blessing it was that God brought them together. While praising God I saw this reflection and told God I wanted to be the perfect reflection of Christ—living as he lived and loving as he loved. And then I noticed the ripples.
The ripples were caused by a stream cascading down the hillside and entering the pond. The stream prevents the pond from becoming stagnant and potentially lifeless. My mind whirled with spiritual lessons from this image and those ripples. Let me share some of them:
- If I want to reflect Jesus, I need to walk as he walked—(1 John 2:6). I will never perfectly reflect him; my life will always have ripples.
- I don’t need to be discouraged by the ripples. They are part of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord—(2 Peter 3:18).
- The source of those ripples is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin, righteousness and judgment—(John 16:8). He continually points me to the source of the streams of living water—(John 15:26).
- The stream of living water that gives me life and prevents me from becoming stagnant comes from believing in Jesus—(John 7:38-39).
- The stream is something to thirst for—(Revelation 21:6-8).
I realized that I often focus on the ripples in my life as a negative—a constant reminder that I don’t reflect Jesus perfectly. But that day on that hillside, looking at this scene, I believe God wanted to show me a different view: I do reflect Jesus, even with the ripples. My reflection may not be a perfect reflection, but it is still beautiful. I am a work in progress as God makes me one of his masterpieces. And maybe, just maybe, the ripples are caused by the Holy Spirit convicting me so I continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Lord, bring on the ripples,
Lord, thank you for including me in your work and allowing me to reflect your beauty – ripples and all. Amen
Study by Rick Shallenberger
About the writer:
Rick Shallenberger is Regional Director of Grace Communion International North Central, USA.
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First published on GCI Update Devotionals https://update.gci.org