A typical Chicago blizzard was setting in as I walked down the street. I stopped at the crosswalk and noticed a little boy selling newspapers on the corner. He looked like he was freezing. He was so cold that he walked up to a policeman and said, “Mister, you wouldn’t happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place?” The man looked down and said, “You go down the street to that big white house on the next corner, and when they come to the door, you just say, ‘John 3:16,’ and they will take care of you.”
The young man took off in a hurry to find that white house. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and as soon as the lady opened the door, he said, without hesitation, “John 3:16.” The lady said, “Come on in, son.” She took him in and sat him down in front of an old fireplace. He sat there for a while, and thought “John 3:16 … I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.” Later, she came back and asked him, “Are you hungry?” He said, “Yes, I haven’t eaten in a couple of days.” She sat him down and fed him. Then he thought to himself “John 3:16 … Boy, I sure don’t understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full.”
She asked if he had a place to stay for the night, and he told her that he was sleeping on the street. She looked down and patted him on his head and said, “I think I have a warm bed just waiting on you.” She then took him to a bedroom, bent down on her knees, and said a prayer for him and tucked him in. She then pulled the covers up and kissed him goodnight. As he laid in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself, “John 3:16 … I don’t understand it, but it sure gave me a warm bed to sleep in and a loving lady that cared for me.”
The next morning, she asked, “Do you understand John 3:16?” He said, “No, ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was last night when that policeman told me to use it when you opened the door.” She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus. He sat there and thought, “John 3:16. I don’t understand it all, but it sure makes a boy feel safe and secure to know that someone named Jesus really loves me.”
You know, I have heard that story over and over again, and I still have to confess to you that I don’t fully understand it either, how God would be willing to send His one and only Son to die for you and me on the cross at Calvary. But you know, it sure does make life worth living, doesn’t it?