On Second Chances

This past Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of my surgery last year for my prostate cancer. I am happy to say that a year later I am still cancer free!

I am very grateful for the blessing of healing the Lord has graciously given me. Prostate cancer is the number two killer of men in America, though it is very treatable if caught early as we did with mine. Still, when you get the diagnosis of “cancer” and come out the other side relatively healthy, there is certainly a feeling that you have been given a second chance.

And on the subject of second chances, I am reminded of a story I have shared in this space once before of something that happened on this date 74 years ago. It all began a few days earlier than that, on Aug. 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. A man who was living there miraculously survived the blast, and decided that there was no future in Hiroshima, so the next day he moved. To Nagasaki. And a day later–on this very date, Aug. 9, 1945–he experienced his second atomic bomb!

The article I read reported that after surviving his second nuclear blast, he did not talk much about the experience. I can well understand his reticence. The old line, “out of the frying pan into the fire” surely was his experience.

I have tried to imagine what it would have been like to have made the decision he made. You have just gone through a horror unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Somehow, you lived through it. So, you move away, hoping never to experience another, and relocate yourself right onto the target of a similar horror. My guess is he probably never felt confident about another decision he made the rest of his life.

Though some would say this guy had the ultimate in “bad luck,” I’d say this was one man who was truly blessed! How many people could say they lived in two cities that had atomic bombs dropped on them–and survived! It’s a story of a second–and third–chance at life. I don’t know how his life played out, but I sure hope he made the most of the extra opportunities that were providentially given to him by his survival.

God is still in the business of giving second chances, even if we don’t see something as obvious as a nuclear explosion (or cancer) to recognize it. That’s what the gospel is all about–that Jesus Christ paid the price so that we could have a new beginning.  By His grace, God delights in giving us fresh starts. Be sure you make the most of yours!

I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

–Pastor Ken