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Heart Matters

Dale Hudson

Have you ever wondered, Is it worth it? Are these kids really getting anything I'm trying to teach them? Have you ever had one of those days when you didn't know if it was the day, the weather, or what, but the kids seemed to stretch you to your limit, and you went home wondering, Is this really worth it? Have you questioned whether the time, energy, and effort you're putting into your ministry is worth it?

I have. I've asked that question many times myself. And God always sends along little reminders just when I need them the most.

Recently, I was speaking at a church in Kansas City along with my friend Bruce Barry, who designs children's environments for churches. When it was his turn to speak, he told us a story about a time when he wondered, Is it worth it?

After days of nonstop travel, meeting with churches, and viewing design plans, Bruce was finally on a flight bound for home. Finding his seat on the plane, he slumped down and closed his eyes, hoping to get some uninterrupted rest. He hardly noticed when a man occupied the seat beside him. Soon the plane was airborne.

The man tried to strike up a conversation. Bruce didn't really feel like talking -- he just wanted a chance to rest. He was exhausted from the last few days; in fact, that very morning he'd seriously questioned whether his job was worth all the time and effort it required. But the man was determined to talk, so Bruce gave in and turned to listen.

This man proceeded to share an amazing story with Bruce. He said, "I don't know where you are in your faith, but I'd like to share my family's experience with you. Our family was unchurched. A girl on our street asked my daughter to go to church with her. I let her go, and she came home really excited. She continued attending, and after a few weeks I decided to go to find out what she was so excited about. I couldn't believe it! This church had designed a place just for kids and it was incredible!" The man then gave a very detailed description of the building. He added, "Through my daughter's experience, my own heart was opened to what the people at the church had to say. Our entire family came to Christ. We're all members of that church now."

Bruce's heart started racing as soon as the man described the building. He knew the building the man was talking about. He leaned close to his companion and said, "I'm the one who designed and decorated that building!"

The man was stunned. Using the air phone, he called his daughter and put Bruce on the phone with her. They both thanked Bruce for playing such an important part in bringing their family to Christ.

Bruce says that on the plane ride that day, God sent him a reminder: Yes, it is worth it. Bruce knows he'll spend the rest of his life helping reach kids for Jesus.

I keep a special file in my filing cabinet. It's filled with thank you notes, letters, and cards I've received over the years from kids and parents who God has allowed me to minister to. Many times when I have one of those "Is it worth it?" days, I just go to that file and begin to read. Tears come to my eyes as I realize that yes, it is worth it.

You and I also have a promise from God's Word that tells us it's worth it. Isaiah 55:11 says, "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

So the next time you're wondering, Is it worth it? may God send you a gentle reminder that yes, it's worth it -- a thousand times over!

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