Runoff or Resource?

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. ~ Psalm 27: 13-14

Muck.  That’s what it looked like.  I happened upon a highway runoff reservoir today that looked disgusting.  It was a slimy, muddy pit of brownish water and green algae.  Surrounding it was dead grass, a few shoots of weeds several feet tall and caution tape secluding this eyesore from the rest of the world.  Really, it was gross and appeared as though there was no value in it expect to catch the junk that runs off the road.  A place I wouldn’t want to dip my pinky toe.

However, what stopped me in my tracks, and gave me cause to pause, was something smack in the middle of this mess.  There, among the dreary, dirty, wasteland was a gorgeous, spotless, pure-white egret.  This magnificent bird stood knee-high in nastiness, but it wasn’t repulsed. Rather, it slowly walked around in it – pausing to look at me.

After a moment, it turned its head away from me and drew his wings out like a solider draws his sword.  He fluffed his wings in the air with grace and confidence.  It was beautiful.

My eyes were fixated on the large, snow-colored bird strutting its feathered wings while its webbed feet stood firmly planted in the brown, algae-filled water.


That’s what those beautiful wings made in the mess.  Rings and rings echoing each other as they spread farther and farther across the lifeless water in slow, rhythmic motion.

I wasn’t sure why I was captivated with this sight until the Lord whispered to me, That’s Me.  When life gets messy, and there is nothing beautiful about it; when everywhere you look is draped in what seems to be hopeless turmoil, I am in the middle of it.  I give you grace and confidence to believe My hope that life has more purpose than to only catch the runoff.

I watched the egret for a while, pondering what I had heard.  The ripples of its wings symbolizes the many ways in which the hand of God works in us and through us to touch others.

Without the bird, that man-made collection pond was stagnant and smelly.  With the bird, it became a resource.  I want my life, no matter how messy, to have God’s resplendent grace and confidence stirring the stationary waters of my soul.  I want His hand to create ripples in my life that reflect His love and mercy.

No life is a waste.  No life is hopeless.  With God in the middle of it, doing His miraculous thing that He does so well, every soul can be blessed and be a blessing.

I needed that today.  It’s no coincidence that just an hour earlier He led me to read Psalm 27. Verses 13 & 14 are two of my favorite in the entire Bible.  God knows exactly where I am today, and He took time in running the universe to remind me of His Word, His faithfulness, and the effect He can have on a life – no matter what my eyes see.  He sees hope, promise and potential.

Lord, please step into the middle of my muck and grace me with Your power, unconditional love and faithfulness.  May it ripple from me to others.  Amen.

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