The Ripple-Effect Investment

Last week I had one of those weeks where I was doing a lot but I began to think, “Does any of this make a difference?”

Do you ever feel that way? Your wheels are spinning, your to-do list is long, and you stop to gain perspective . . .”will this really matter for eternity?”

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There was one day last week where I received two phone calls – both from mentees who told me about their courage to step out in faith and become a mentor. Someday their stories will be a blog post! The Lord encouraged my heart by whispering in my ear.

“This is the ripple effect your life is making, Nancy.”

“But I’m just one drop in an ocean of many drops.”

“Yes, but you are one significant drop.”

And just like me, you are a very important drop, as well.

We might invest in one person but that person might invest in 30 people. I’ve personally watched this play out in my life. It’s so rewarding, satisfying and fulfilling!

We think we are giving so little that it won’t really matter but it does. It makes me think of the story of the widow’s offering in Mark 12:41-42:

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.

What does it look like to be a small, yet significant drop?

I’ll never forget being at a retreat in the mountains of Colorado many years ago and we were told to go out and find one thing that showed the glory of God. I could have picked the majestic mountains, the tall evergreen trees, or the beautiful stream but as I sat there praying and asking God to show me His glory, I looked down and on one small blade of grass was a tiny drop of dew. The sun was hitting the drop just right to make a brilliant, blinding array of colors that were breathtaking.

The drop was simply reflecting the sun and letting the beauty of the sun shine through it.

It was such an eye-opener for me. I can simply be a drop that reflects the beauty of Jesus. Then Jesus gets all the glory. He is the One who becomes greater and I become less.

Two days ago, I had the privilege of helping a young mom out by watching her kids so she could have a break. She just had baby #3 a few weeks ago and her husband was out of town. I simply took her two older kids to a park to play and then held her baby while she could get a few things done. Here’s what she wrote:

Thank you for blessing us today with the gift of your time and attention! Helping this mama to keep some sanity today before the hubby returns. What a simple, yet magnificent act of love that I do not take for granted. Acts like this by people like you help make this difficult, wonderful period of life with little ones much more do-able. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I was so touched and encouraged by her note because what I did was so small. No one else noticed but this sweet mom and her kids. It was a tiny drop that made an impact. I was the one that was blessed. Her kids were a joy to be with and it filled up my cup even as I poured out.

Isn’t that just like the kingdom of God? It’s backwards. It’s upside down. To become great we must become small. We get filled up by pouring out. One drop can have a ripple effect that makes a great impact.

Here’s my encouragement to you today: Be the drop. Care about the one. Watch God multiply that small investment and bless it beyond anything you could imagine.

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours!