“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11, NASU
As I sat there quietly in my green, “wings-on-the-headrest” morning prayer chair, in the converted, former garage that was now my place of seeking the Lord and hearing His voice, I was wondering about the books I had written, as not much seems to have been done with them that I was aware of. As far as I knew, they were only nicely displayed on my living room bookshelf, and the ones I had given away, hundreds over the past 10 years, may just be laying around in people’s homes, unread in some forgotten pile.
“Why is it that others get so much attention when they have very little to say, and yet when You give me words to say and write, they seem to go nowhere?” I thought to myself, but hoping, knowing He heard.
His reply, given in simple thoughts as He normally does with me, with the Holy Spirit speaking, came as this.
“Remember when you were a little boy, and you liked to throw the smooth stones into the still water, to watch the ripples then go forth? There was that ripple effect. Even as the stone cast into the water creates a splash, which then spreads out in a circular motion, rippling through the calm water, so too will My Word which is spoken, or written, as it goes forth.”
Yes. There is the ripple effect. How encouraging to know.
For many of us, we feel that our spoken words and our sincere actions at times carry very little change or have any effect on anyone or anything. Or our prayers just seem to hit the 8-foot ceiling and stop. We see little immediate result. Nothing seems to happen for a long time.
We get discouraged. We wonder, “What is the use?” Or we ask, directed to Him, “Have I wasted all this time, and no one has paid attention?”
Ever get that feeling? Sure, you do. Ever wonder how the examples given in Scriptures, of faithful ones speaking the Word of God felt when no one seemed to listen? Or those in history who shared the Lord’s ways, and were only scoffed at, ridiculed, or rejected in silence by being ignored?
I am confident that in the midst of all the noise, the running around, the endless search people continue to do to “be happy” and self-fulfilling, that the words, the prayers, the actions taken as directed by the Lord, through us, will not just fall to the ground, or be as seed cast out and no return as with a normal harvest.
The Lord is Faithful to use the ongoing prayers we say, the encouraging words we speak and share, and the helpful actions we take, given in love to those around us, will come back one day, having accomplished the purpose He has intended for them. They will not be just a splash in the water but will have a ripple effect.
As any gardener or farmer knows, when a seed is planted in the dark ground, it does germinate in time and then springs forth with life and food (or flower) for the good of those receiving and needing it.
Next time you too think your labor has been in vain, your words have gone unnoticed, or your prayers may not quickly have any effect on those you have prayed for, faithfully, or situations you long to see changed but seem to take forever, know that our God, the Heavenly Father, is acting through the Holy Spirit to bring about the intended purpose He had in mind and used you to pray it through and stand in faith.
You probably won’t see it today – that which you prayed for today. But in time, over the weeks and months to come, even years, that which was done in faith, to see His Kingdom come, will come, as your voice, your prayers and your righteous actions are joined with others in being faithful day in and day out, doing His will.
The ripple effect spreads far wider than you could ever see or imagine. His Word will not return void, whenever and wherever it goes forth.
“So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them. So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause. No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thorn bushes, but stately pines — Monuments to me, to God, living and lasting evidence of God.” Isaiah 55:11-13, THE MESSAGE
Keep on speaking that word to that young child. Keep on sharing those thoughts you have been given for another. Keep acting in kindness and offering hope to the one who needs that from you today.
The everlasting effect will be there, whether you see it now or not. But He does, and they will, in time.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Founder, Love For His People
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Time To Act #22 – in the year of our Lord 9.02.2020 – “The Ripple Effect” Wednesday, 4:50 am in Charlotte, NC USA