Have you ever looked back on certain times of your life and wondered – what was that all about?

OR perhaps you invested in a friendship with someone, but now you’ve long since lost touch, and you’re asking yourself – where are they now?

OR did you give your heart and soul to something or someone, but now creeping insecurity makes you wonder – did I really make a positive difference? Could I have done more?

I often think about the 100s of people I’ve connected with over the decades – particularly generations of young people – and I find myself asking all those questions. What was that all about? Where are they now? Did I really make a positive difference? Could I have done more?

And then I’m reminded of one of my favourite verses in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul, inspirationally writes these words at the end of a breathtaking chapter where he’s been reminding his readers that Jesus Christ has conquered the greatest enemy of all – death itself…

“With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (The Message)

Did you get that?

Nothing that you do for God is EVER a waste of time or effort!

I was reminded of this encouraging truth in the past month when – out-of-the-blue – I received the email below from someone who attended the youth group I co-led (‘Prime Time’) 30 years ago! I’d not heard from her in probably over 25 years but, with her permission, I share what she wrote…

“I used to go to prime time when I was younger and it started me on my journey of faith for which I am very grateful. Things have happened over the last few years and I’ve become very lost and grey when I used to be filled with colour. I remember your happiness and energy from back then and when I read your words they spark something inside of me. I wouldn’t say I’ve lost my faith but right now I don’t know who I am with it or how I feel about it, but I know I’m not being who I want to be and I am desperately trying to change.” 

It was one of those wonderful messages that you rarely get, but a wonder and joy to receive. I remembered her instantly. She was part of the first group of young people I ever worked with – and they’ve always held a special place in my heart. They’ve often formed part of my daily prayers for prodigals to come home to God. I had no idea the difference we’d made. I had no idea she was still holding on to faith.

This moment was God’s little whisper to me – and to us – that everything we do for Him matters. Nothing is wasted. God is always at work. He takes the seeds of our small contributions and acts of services and lovingly and tenderly waters them in people’s lives.

So, the next time you have a moment of doubt – wondering if your life is making any difference in the world? Wondering whether your random act of kindness OR long term investment in someone is really achieving anything … STOP! Here the whisper of Heaven…

…stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

What you do matters, more than you realise.

I pray that God will encourage you today to keep going – keep loving – stay focused – stay faithful. Nothing is wasted.