“Abraham was the father of Isaac…Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Matthew 1:2-16, NIV 1984).
A prominent pastor in our city is retiring this year. Under his leadership, his church has directly impacted thousands for Christ in deep and productive ways, touching hundreds of thousands more in their outreach.
I was sitting at breakfast this morning with Dr. Bill Wood, a world-renowned leader in breast cancer and past chair of surgery at Emory University. Prior to Emory, Bill had spent 28 years in Boston at Mass General Hospital.
When we mentioned the retiring pastor’s name, Bill’s wife told us that this pastor had come to know Christ in a Sunday morning Bible study that Bill had led in Boston, after which he left his secular job and surrendered to the ministry.
The ripple effect of our lives is amazing, for good and for ill.
Thank God that He occasionally allows us brief glimpses of His work in those ripples. If we saw too much, we would likely crash and burn in either shame or pride. But a glimpse every now and again does bring us hope that God is at work in the arena He has placed us.
We so often think that the things we choose as important in our lives are the key factors for God’s work in the world. Often they are.
But I suspect God’s greatest work rides on ripples we cannot now comprehend, though someday will appreciate in glory.
Take care of the ripples from my life and fill them with your power and purpose.