When you've lost something or someone precious, it is easy to forget that "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away." He doesn't owe us a reason.
John Claypool was a pastor in Louisville, Kentucky many years ago. He and his wife lost their daughter, Laura Lou, to leukemia. He later explained his loss by telling a story from his childhood.
During WWII his family didn't own a washing machine, and since gas was rationed, they couldn't afford to drive to a laundry. Keeping their clothes clean became a challenge. John's neighbor went into the service and his wife moved in with her family. They offered to let John's family use their Bendix wringer washer while they were gone. They reasoned it would be better for it to be used than to sit rusting on the porch.
John helped with the family's laundry, and he said he developed a fondness for that old green Bendix. When the war ended his neighbors returned, and they reclaimed their washing machine. Over the course of the war, young John had actually forgotten the machine was loaned to them, so when the neighbors removed it, John was upset and angry that they would take his washing machine. His mother sat him down and said, "John, you must remember that the washing machine never belonged to us in the first place. That we ever got to use it at all was a gift. So, instead of being mad at it being taken away, let us use this as an occasion to be thankful that we ever had it at all."
John Claypool would say years later he struggled with the death of eight-year-old Laura Lou, until he remembered that old green Bendix. He wrote: "When I remember that Laura Lou was a gift, pure and ...
Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Bruce Howell on Feb 1, 2001
The story is told (by Ernest Hemingway) of a father and his teenage son who had a relationship that had become strained to the point of breaking. Finally the son ran away from home. His father, however, began a journey in search of his rebellious son. Finally, in Madrid, in a last desperate ...read more
Some Good Advice PRO
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Jun 9, 2002
SOME GOOD ADVICE I am still waiting for my father to talk to me about sex and success, money and marriage, religion and raising kids. Since he died in 1991, I guess I don’t have much chance of ever benefiting from all of the lessons he learned in life. It’s not that he was a bad dad; he was ...read more
Contributed by Tom Doubt on Jul 15, 2003
WE THOUGHT YOU SAID... The kids had talked Mom into getting a hamster They promised to take care of their pet, whom they named “Danny.” Within two months, though, Mom was taking care of Danny. One day Mom decided enough was enough; Danny would be given to a new owner. She called the ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Jan 5, 2006
Abilene Christian University researchers, Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Carley Dodd have recently concluded a cross-generational study (six different tests) to measure fathers’ positive and negative influences upon teens’ spirituality. The found that "every time" dad’s role "as teacher came out be the ...read more
Contributed by Rick Crandall on Jul 16, 2008
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW HARDSHIP? We live in a mixed-up, messed-up world. Sometimes terrible things happen that don't make any sense at all, and we wonder why? Steven Curtis Chapman is one of the best known singer-songwriters of contemporary Christian music. Over the last 15 or 20 years his songs ...read more