I usually love the light bulb moment when some random pondering is suddenly illuminated with understanding. Not so much this week. This week, the clarity was painful to see at first. I am on this new journey of becoming a more legit artist and writer. I shared the fears and insecurities that have bubbled up in the blog post https://artistictherapy.net/blogs/news/here-goes-nothing. I dream of the things I share growing. I love to picture it spreading, like a ripple effect.
Stones have always been a huge part of my life. The idea of my stone causing a ripple effect just makes me happy. Until the moment where God reminded me what happens to the stone. The purpose of the stone is to simply break the water, then sink. The stone is never guaranteed to even see the ripple effect it's act of obedience caused.
"Amanda, are you surrendered to keep dropping your stones even if you never get to see the ripples?"
Hmmmm....that isn't exactly what I dreamed obedience would look like.
This isn't the first time He has presented me with this truth. Years ago, I was involved with a creative team. I threw out an idea and everyone ran with it. It grew into a successful venture. Only, nobody ever--to this day-- remembered that it was originally my idea. Credit was shared by others, and I just faded into the shadows. I was so hurt and so mad. My devotional the next morning took that hurt and laid it bare under the exam table of surrender.
Phillipians 2:17 says "But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you."
2 Timothy 4:6 says "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close."
What does it mean to be poured out like a drink offering? It is a reference back to the sacrificial requirements in the Old Testament (Exodus 29:40, Numbers 15:4-6) which Jesus fulfilled in His sacrifice on the cross (Luke 22:20, John 19:34). What does that mean as a follower of Christ today, though?
For me back then, and again now, as I ponder the role of a stone in creating a ripple effect, I think the idea of being poured out as a drink offering is being willing to pour yourself out for God's glory and kingdom. Without one guarantee that you will see the results.
It means I MAY be poured out in a way that offers life giving water to a harvest that is completely ready to receive it.
It may mean that what I offer is absorbed and produces beautiful fruit--lives transformed, leaders empowered, dysfunctional family cycles broken, hearts surrendered into passionate followers of Jesus.
Or it may mean that my entire offering will hit hard, impenetrable ground and literally nothing comes of it. It may actually produce mud that is thrown back at me. Do I offer it anyway--with no guarantees? With no real promise that my investment won’t look to me like a complete waste?
Do I trust Him to produce something beautiful even if I never see it?
Am I surrendered to do what the Lord leads me to do, trusting that the value is amazing? Even if I'm completely unaware, much like the rock that caused the water to ripple and spread? As I constantly reset myself and chose daily to die to me, I hope He will let me see the ripples from my rightful place--sinking deeper and deeper into His living water, looking up at the sun, completely aware of who made it all happen.
For me, I hope he makes the ripples colorful. 💞