You May Never Know in This Life What Good Will Come from Your Sacrifices - The Warrior's Journey®

You May Never Know in This Life What Good Will Come from Your Sacrifices

Author: David Causey, USA (Ret.)

Uniting A Nation. Photo by The U.S. Marines is licensed under CC By 2.0

In 1981 Dr. Michael Shannon was a young pediatrician.

One of his early patients would also be one of his tiniest. The little patient weighed only 3.2 pounds. He was a premature baby boy who was given only a 50/50 chance of survival. The little guy’s name was Christopher Trokey. His troubled parents begged Dr. Shannon to save his life.

Dr. Shannon did all that was humanly possible. He provided the best medical care available at the time. He also worked around the clock, never leaving the little boy’s side until his condition was stabilized. And, yes, the little boy lived and grew and brought joy to his parents.

But this was not an easy patient for any doctor. This little bundle of trouble demanded the weary doctor’s constant attention. It took so much out of him that afterward wondered: “What will this boy turn out to be? Will he remember the investment that’s been made to save his life? Or, will my efforts have been in vain?”

But there was little time to dwell on those questions. Countless other patients would require the good doctor’s care.

Zoom forward thirty years. On March 29, 2011, Dr. Shannon was driving on Pacific Coast Highway near Dana Point when a semi-truck T-boned his SUV. It was a horrendous crash and pinned Shannon’s vehicle underneath the truck as it caught fire. Dr. Shannon suffered broken bones and internal injuries. But the worst of his fears was the fire that quickly spread and began to burn his legs. Suddenly EMT personnel arrived. The four EMTs extinguished the flames and used a Jaws of Life to extract Dr. Shannon from the smoldering SUV. They had saved his life.

During his 45-day recovery in the hospital, the same four EMTs came to visit the man whose life they saved. One of the men on that team was none other than 30-year-old Chris Trokey. Remember him? He was now a fulltime EMT. Not until that visit did Chris realize that the man whose life he saved had saved his own life 30 years earlier. Was Dr. Shannon’s investment as a young pediatrician be remembered, be worth the effort? Oh, yes. Saving little Christopher’s life was worth the effort. Little Christopher would grow up to save many lives as well. One of them would be Dr. Shannon’s.

While we walk this earth we will not fully understand the eventual outcome of our good deeds or the ripple effects of our selfless service. We can only be faithful and true to the work to which God as called us. After that we must leave the results with Him and trust him to bless our feeble efforts and use them to bless others. Maybe, now and then, a person will return to tell us how our lives have touched theirs.

But when we reach heaven and stand before Christ’s judgment seat, Christ will reveal the profound and eternal impact of our service and sacrifice. So don’t be discouraged when the sacrifices cut deeply and the returns seem to be so small. God is doing a work through your labors that will count for all eternity in the lives of many. It may be behind the scenes, unnoticed by human vision. It may not even blossom and bear visible fruit in your life time. But God already sees the results of your labor and He and all heaven cheer you on to be faithful until the finish line.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Cor. 15:58).


Dear Father in heaven, please keep my eyes focused on Your dear Son, Jesus Christ, who for the joy set before Him, endured the horrors of the cross, and is now seated at Your right hand in heaven. Help me to be faithful to You and to the work You’ve called me to do, until death. Amen.

Information from:
In article photo: The gift of sight by the U.S. Air Force licensed under U.S. Govt. Work

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.