1507) Wasted Efforts?

hosp bed


     In a home for severely disabled children, Catherine was nurtured for twenty years.  The child had been intellectually and physically disabled from the beginning and had never spoken a word.  She either gazed quietly at the walls or made distorted movements.  Her life seemed to consist of nothing more than eating, drinking, and sleeping.  She seemed not to participate at all in what happened around her.  A leg had to be amputated.  The staff wished Cathy well and hoped that the Lord would soon take her to Himself.

     One day the doctor called the director to come quickly.  Catherine was dying.  When both entered the room, they could not believe what they were hearing.  Catherine was singing Christian hymns she had heard and had picked up, just those suitable for death beds.  She repeated over and over again the German song, “Where does the soul find its rest?”  She sang for half an hour with transfigured face, then she passed away quietly.  

–From The Best Is Still to Come,Wuppertal: Sonne und Shild.


     We can never be sure if what we are doing, even if it seems useless, might have deep meaning and purpose in ways we will never know.  Many people today would think Catherine’s life did not have worth.  They might use terms like “quality of life” to rationalize shortening her existence.  But in God’s view Catherine’s life had value, worth, and purpose.  Some of the home’s caregivers had been singing songs to this severely damaged child, and it might have seemed even to them like a wasted effort.  But nothing done for Christ is ever wasted.  Thus it is written in I Corinthians 4:5:

Judge nothing before the appointed time.  Wait until the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.  At that time each will receive their praise from God.

     You may think that what you are doing is useless, but you don’t know.  You may wonder if what you’re doing is making any eternal difference, but the final evaluation isn’t in yet.  You may never see the fruit of the seed you plant.  Your part in the harvest might only be watering or tending, and later on someone else will reap the harvest.  Keep going.  As it is recorded Jesus said in Matthew 10:42:

Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.

–adapted from  www.redemptionministry.org


Romans 12:11  —  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Colossians 3:17  —  Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed, we shall meet at last.

–Catherine von Schlegel, 1752