The Ripple Effect




Growing up with a creek in my backyard, I often found myself in the competition of skipping stones across the water. I seldom finished in first place, that victory usually belonged to my little brother. Perhaps it had to do with my choice of stones, not smooth enough or too large… too small… whatever the reason? My stones seemed to just sink instead of glide across the water. Kerplunk! was usually the disappointing sound that my stones often made. I can say when I finally got one to skip a few spots? I was encouraged to give it another go. I also found that my eyes were no longer on the rock itself.. but on the small little circles left behind in its wake. Ripples….small in number but enough to cause an effect on the water.


Often, my efforts have resembled rocks. I have had good intentions, but when they landed? I heard the familiar Kerplunk! Disappointed, discouraged and defeated. How often do we squander our efforts and talents because we fear the outcome? We convince ourselves that the stones we have to offer are nothing but a handful of chunky rocks. So we hold onto them, or worse… we just throw them down, discarded into our pile we have labeled –

“I’m not enough.”

“It won’t make a difference”

“I’m a failure”

“I’m not worthy”

Let me just stop here and tell you… the above statements are simply not true.

If anything matters… it all matters.

This journey we are on is not a cosmic array of insignificant events. Every single act of kindness, encouraging word, charitable contribution, selfless act… matters. It makes ripples! Some ripples are larger than others.. but they are all worth our time.

I’m not sure what your ripples may look like? I know the ones that have affected me personally… ones that I have seen and felt even if they came in the smallest of gestures, little circles that resonated in the ripples. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the ripples that I create are often times… more than enough… the opposite of failures… and worthy of my effort..

Maybe you create ripples by………………….

Holding someone’s hand when they need comforting.. joining them in a simple prayer

Hugging your children or giving them an encouraging word

Messaging your friend just to say “Are you okay today?” “I’m thinking of you” “Hope you have a good day”

Sharing your story to encourage someone else who is struggling

Being extra kind to the person in line ahead of you

Volunteering your time


Witnessing to others just to say God is GOOD!

Praying for someone else in need

Welcoming someone new on your church pew

Whatever your gift or talent… use it. make the matter how small they may seem at the time.

We all have gifts. Sometimes we hold onto them and they go unused. Stir up those gifts!

I have recently had to pick up some stones that I had tossed into the pile of “not enough, failure, and it won’t make a difference”…. For the most part.. I put them there because of my own fears.. I allowed the enemy to steal my ripples.  Then came the reminder of a ripple that has stayed with me for many years.  A timely reminder to shift my focus…from my kerplunking rock pile of inadequacy.

It came about a few years ago when I was asked to play the keyboard to fill in for an extended period of time. I balked. I complained. I cried. I can’t. I knew all too well my limitations. I agreed, of course…mainly out of guilt.

Finally, after many floundering attempts…and a whole lot of complaining.. a dear friend said… “Denise? I think you should start thanking God for what you can do and let him fill in the gap… instead of telling Him what you can’t do.”

Powerful words that sent a ripple.

Honestly, my season on that keyboard was often pretty rough. It was a season that proved how faithful He was in helping me use what I had. No, it wasn’t what I preferred.. I wanted to sing! I learned that by being obedient, making the effort…He filled the gap. That season of playing music was a lesson that I had to learn to give what I had although I often felt it was not enough.  God already knew it was not my passion, but He also knew it was needed.

He didn’t forget me. He didn’t forget what I had a passion for. In due season, He provided a place for me to do what I love. Sing! Is it perfect? of course not… but I have found that whatever my little ripple is, He will honor it and use it for His purpose.

Make ripples! whatever your ripple looks like? it matters…. it doesn’t matter if you always see the immediate effects they make. I can assure you, when you step out in faith to make yours? He will use it.

He is surely faithful in all things!


I corinthians 10 31