Nothing is Wasted

Several months ago, my family watched a children’s movie together. As the final credits scrolled across the screen, my husband and I did what we typically do after movies: we dissected, critiqued, and discussed improvements that should have been made. 

This particular movie must have had an inexperienced director because there were several wasted scenes at the end of the movie. Certain details and characters never came to a resolution and seemed to be inserted without purpose—adding confusion to the overall plot instead of clarity. No big deal. I chalk it up to poor editing and maybe a low budget, then finish my popcorn in peace. It’s just a movie, after all.


But what about real life?

Do you realize that God never orchestrates your life in the same way this director organized his movie? God is so powerful that He is able to use everything—absolutely everything—in your life to fulfill His overall plan of transforming you to mirror Jesus.


Nothing Wasted

There is nothing wasted in your life. There are no scenes without purpose; nothing God cannot use. That’s why Paul confidently states this truth in Romans 8: We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.

God is able to take all the things that happen in your life and use them to make you like Jesus.

Let’s make this nice and practical, shall we?

When was the last time you had a difficult conversation with someone?
When did you hear bad news?
When did someone hurt you with their words or actions?
When have struggled with your health? Your finances?

Nothing is wasted. God can use every one of those hard things to make you like His Son.


But How?

Simply living life doesn’t make you more like Christ; it’s what happens in your heart that changes you.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. (John 6:44) It’s only when we allow God to work in our hearts through the hard things that we become more like Jesus.

So process things with the Lord.
Tell Him about the difficult words you just heard.
Tell Him about the way you felt.
Tell Him how your child was hurt.
Tell Him all that’s going on in your heart.

And then surrender.
Surrender your pride.
Surrender your own way.
Surrender the thought that “nobody understands” and let it be enough that Jesus does.

Let it be enough that Jesus knows exactly what you’re going through because He, as the greatest director of all time, planned it out before the beginning of time. He allows these difficulties in your life to help you run to Him, see His perfect glory, and be changed to mirror His Son. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”

There is rest in this truth. When you believe that nothing is wasted, but that God is able to use all things to change you to be like Jesus, there is rest and peace. Instead of feeling pressure to work out all the details, you can experience peace that only comes when you leave all the details with the One Who planned them.

This is God, our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever. (Psalm 48:14)
Trust Him. He never wastes a thing.


  1. Beautifully written Christa! I know I needed this as these past few weeks have been mired with difficulty and major illness. I look back and am tempted to wonder, “what in the world was all that for?” But then I know, because those times forced me to my knees. They forced me to stop and say, “Ok, Lord…you have my attention. What are you teaching me?”

    I may not have learned all the lessons just yet, but I know that nothing is wasted by God. All things are working together…to enable me to become more like Christ.

    Great post! And I’m sharing this one too!!! ~ Johanna

  2. Rose Mary Kelly says:

    Good stuff, Christa! You should have put this sentence as well in one of those nice black”boxes”(!): “He allows these difficulties in your life to help you run to Him, see His perfect glory, and be changed to mirror His Son.” So so true!

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