Ripple Effect

Imagine sitting at a crystal clear lake. The water is so smooth you can see the perfect reflection of the landscape as if you were seeing double. The mountain rises above the lake, and at the same time, seems to plummet equally into a separate sky deep within the lake.
Now imagine a giant splash in the water near you. Cold drops land on your bare skin and instantly take away your comfort. You look beside you and sure enough, there is a young boy, picking up another big rock to chuck into the water! You’d toss him in, but you are better than that, today at least!

Watching the ripples of an impact in water can be mesmerizing if you take the time for it. But what if you could simply do a countermeasure and instantly settle the waters? What if, on a stormy day, you could cease the violent churning of a sea? What if you could bring peace?

As we’ve been working through the beatitudes found at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, we’ve seen Jesus guide His disciples (and us) to salvation:
-you’re blessed when you are spiritually broken
-you’re blessed when you mourn that brokenness, knowing it is not good
-you’re blessed when you see your inability to fix that brokenness
-you’re blessed when you long (hunger and thirst) for rescue and wholeness (righteousness)
-you’re blessed when you choose mercy. Mercy on the brokenness of everyone else, for then you can receive God’s mercy.
-you’re blessed when you’ve been made pure by the mercy of God.

All of these first statements set the hearer on a path to find salvation, but then, as salvation brings new life, the direction changes.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Matthew 5:9

As one repents of the terrible storm of sin within, Jesus brings peace. Peace with God is what takes place when a person is made righteous. There is no longer any animosity or separation between the forgiven sinner and the loving Father. How beautiful it is!

Remember the illustration of the shipwrecked man who desperately searches for rescue? Once he is finally found and rescued, do you think he might have compassion on others who are shipwrecked and stranded? Absolutely! Having been rescued from such despair, he would hope the same for others. If he were a good man, he would take time to search others out and aid them in their distress.

Jesus indicates that when one receives new life in Him, they will want others to receive it too. Those who receive peace with God, want others to receive this wonderful gift too!

Have you ever tasted something so profoundly good you practically begged others to try it? So it is with mercy and grace.

When the waters of our hearts have been stilled by the peace of Christ, we want to bring that same experience to others in their despair. We want to calm the waters, not disrupt them. We want to bring peace, not division.

May we not forget when sin’s storm was conquered within us. May we not forget what despair felt like before Christ rescued us. May we, with trembling love and compassion, seek to be makers of peace, bringing the sweet goodness of God into the brokenness of those who do not yet know Him.