The Ripple Effect
How many of us have been waiting for an answer to prayer that will change a situation? How many have been waiting to see a breakthrough, a change in circumstance. Sometimes it can seem we are holding our breath just hoping that God will show up and drastically overturn a situation. I know there are areas in my life where I have prayed for such a turn around. God is a good Father and He loves us so much that He doesn't want to always just swoop in and obliterate a challenging situation we are facing. He loves us enough to be subtle in His change and redemptive in His actions. This is often not what we want though. We are looking for the Almighty Warrior King to step in and tear down mountains, obliterate opposition and appease our expectations. Truth is God will always act according to His nature. This is not to say He can not do things in a sudden manner but more often I believe He works subtly so that we 1) rely on Him and 2) we grow in the process.
Many years ago I had a vision that was so simple and yet had such a profound effect on me that when I prayed about what to share with you all I began to remember this vision. I was in a forest, lush and green. A beautiful canopy overhead with just a small opening in the branches where the sky could be seen openly. I was sitting on the edge of pond when I felt the Lord tell me to consider the pond. As I did so He spoke and shared that water that is still over a period of time can become stagnate and the life in it can be lost. So I remember asking why isn't there a tide in this pond. It is so beautiful and seemed teeming with life, a place of peaceful tranquility. I didn't want to see it fail and lose what made it so special. I asked the Lord how we can impact it so that it continues to thrive? I then saw a single drop of water fall from the sky, all the way down from the canopy above and fall into the middle of the pond. Of course it created a ripple. I watched as the rings of the ripple went out from the center of the pond then hit the shore and returned back to the center of the pond. I watched this for a few moments until the water settled to a flat calm. Then I heard God ask, "has the water changed?" My response was no, because it all seemed exactly as it had before. Surely the drop had a momentary effect but nothing lasting. Then God spoke and said but you are wrong. The molecules in this water have been forever changed by a single drop added to it. The impact of the drop and the molecules it was made up of have forever impacted and changed the waters of this pond and have brought life to it.
I remembered the feeling of awe as I considered what He said and I realized that because His actions for change didn't meet my expectations of what change looked like I had dismissed its effect. How often do we do this in our own lives? How often do we allow disappointment, disillusionment and fear to rob our hope, joy and faith? How often do we allow the enemy to lie to us in subtle ways that God doesn't really love us, or isn't willing to move on our behalf? Many times we believe God acts on others behalf but not on ours. This is simply a lie! God is not a respecter of persons and He is not a man that He would lie. He cannot and will not go against His nature. If He said He would do something then He will do it. The challenge is releasing our expectations on the how He will do it. God is all knowing and in His unending wisdom sees how all things will work together for our good. Though things may nor seem to be coming together for our good on the surface never underestimate the transforming power of the ripple effect!