For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but
to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NRSV)
John rushed to the hospital as soon as he heard about the motorcycle
accident. His brother's injuries were so severe that they thought he might
not live through the night. As he looked out the waiting room window, John
saw a lonely illuminated cross shining on a nearby mountain. He began to
If my brother lives, John told God, I will lead a good life. Ill even give up smoking! He thought about other bargaining chips that he might have
with God. But his brother died. John looked at the cross one more time with
anger, and felt his faith perish.
John married, raised a family, discontinued any contact with the church
and continued to smoke. That was many years ago. Then he found himself back
in the same hospital waiting room. This time his son lay close to death.
Matt writhed in pain, clutching his belly. The child was too tired to cry.
There was an ominous yellow cast to his skin. Cancer! At that moment John
looked out the same window and saw the same cross, still shining on the same
He could hardly believe that this was happening to him a second time. This
time had no bargaining chips. He made no offers. He simply, humbly put his
life in the hands of the One who had hung on a cross. John surrendered his
life and his family to God.
Matt has more than survived. He completed his treatment a few years back and
has no evidence of cancer today. At ten years of age, he prays for other
children with cancer! And Matt's dad? John learned that the power of God
belongs to those who know that they have nothing to offer Jesus except their
I watch John gather his family into his arms today and think about all the
times Ive told God what I would do for him. But all he has ever wanted from
me is to acknowledge my own powerlessness and look to the cross for my aid.
What a foolish person I have been!
Used by permission of Zondervan Press. Excerpted from "Breakfast for the
Heart: Meditations to Nourish Your Soul" by Diane M. Komp, M.D. Available
at your local bookstore or by calling 1-800-727-3480.