A Cross on the Hill

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 brothers 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 pray.

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 mountain.

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 Matts dad? John learned that the power of God belongs to those who know that they have nothing to offer Jesus except their hearts.

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!

by Diane M. Komp, MD


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