Devotional: 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 a couple 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.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for including me in your work and allowing me to reflect your beauty – ripples and all. Amen.


Lord, bring on the ripples,


Rick Shallenberger
Regional Director USA, North Central



4 thoughts on “Devotional: The Ripple Effect”

  1. Thank you, Rick, for this thoughtful sharing. I am encouraged by your words as, like you, I focus too much on the ripples. Whatever our current situation, whether on the mountain or in the valley, knowing that our Lord is ever-present and always involved makes all the difference… May our Lord richly bless you, my brother!

  2. Thanks Rick for your thoughts on reflecting the Love of Jesus and how we now come up short and see the ripples of our daily sins in this flesh but thank God He sees us fully in Him without any ripples. One day we will see Him even as He sees us now! 1 Cor 13:12

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