by David Sisler

A man casually asked his friend, a prominent heart surgeon, "So what's new? What exciting things are taking place in the field of medicine?"

"The new thing in my field," he said, "is the dilemma."

When the doctor saw a puzzled look on his friend's face, he began to explain. "It costs several thousand dollars to do a work-up on a patient," he said. "You have to decide whether he is physically able to tolerate the stress of heart surgery. Whether it is a bypass operation or a complete heart transplant, you have to determine whether the patient will benefit or suffer from the procedure."

"I understand that," his friend said. "So what is dilemma?"

"The dilemma," the doctor replied, "is deciding whether or not to proceed if the patient is not able to pay for the surgery. How do you determine the value of a human being?"

The doctor's friend was shocked, "I've never heard of such a thing. I can't even imagine that consideration taking place."

The doctor said, "We think about it almost every day."

Jesus ministered one day to a man who was considered completely worthless by the members of his society. He was possessed by demons. He lived naked among the tombs, broke chains that were meant to hold him captive, and cut himself with rocks. The man ran at Jesus as if he would do Jesus great harm, but at the last moment, fell at Jesus' feet.

"What is your name?" Jesus asked.

From deep inside the man a voice answered, "My name is Legion. There are many of us inside of this man."

Would you have done a work-up on that man? How would you have estimated his chances of survival? Society had already made it's determination he is without value, chain him up and lock him away. But Jesus, in a fashion so dramatic that the people asked Jesus to leave their town and never return, completely resorted the man. And he did so without once calculating, "Is this man worth my time and the price I will have to pay for his healing?"

You may be thinking, "That is a nice story, but I cannot relate to that man or his situation."

Well, maybe you can understand this story. Patrick was trying to fix his ice-maker. When he was finished, he plugged it in and it ran perfectly. There was just one problem. He had three screws left over. He called the manufacturer and asked for help.

The service representative asked, "Does the ice-maker now work properly?"

"Yes," Patrick replied.

"Well," said the man on the other end of the phone, "what you have are pocket screws."

"Where should they go?" Patrick asked.

"When the appliance is put back together and works fine, the leftover screws go in your pocket."

Maybe you are thinking, "Now, that I understand. Whether or not those screws are put into the appliance makes absolutely no difference. The thing will work just as well without them as with them. That is exactly the way I feel. I am a pocket screw. I do not matter at all."

Before you decide that issue completely, let's ask the Lord God Almighty what he thinks. What value does he place on your life?

If you think back to the dilemma of the physician, there may be many people for whom you would not do a work up. They would be pocket screws. They would not be missed if they simply ceased to exist. But God says, "The value I place on you is the life of my only Son. The value I place on you is the death of my Son. Don't say you are not worth it, because your worth to me is my Son!"

Now, if God has placed such a value on your life, can you trust him?


Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

Your comment is welcome.
Write to me at:

Back to David Sisler's Home Page