Sermon Illustrations

My parents used to operate a true “Mom and Pop” grocery store before I started school. I still remember some of the good times—and some of the bad times, too, unfortunately—from those days gone by.

Some of the items they had for sale were plastic models. These were mostly Revell, Lindberg, or Monogram items, back then, and I really don’t remember how many they sold. But there was one model that I haven’t forgotten, even to this day.

Either Mom or Dad had put a, to me, strange looking Army vehicle (remember, I “spake as a child” in those days!) on display. For Sale. Not too far from the cash register where nobody could miss it unless they really wanted to. Sadly, nobody did want to see it, as nobody bought it, and I kept dreaming of the day when maybe for Christmas or my birthday or some occasion, that “weird looking Army truck” would find its way to ME!

Sure enough, one day somebody came in and took the model away. I was heartbroken, as that “truck (a half-track, for those of us with a military background)” was gone! And even worse, not too long after that, Mom and Dad closed the store.

And that was that.

I remember asking either Mom or Dad why they let that “meanie” take the truck back with him, and the reply was, “Well, nobody wanted it here but someone did at another store, so we had to let it go.” They also tried some other attempts to comfort me—but I didn’t want to feel better! I wanted that truck!!

And it was gone. For good.

We could draw a few observations from that incident. First, there isn’t much point in keeping something that nobody else seems to want. Besides, that half-track might have been a bit much for a true preschooler like me to handle in those days. If you have ever assembled a model from the early to mid-60’s, you know exactly what I mean.

Second, the item really wasn’t ours; rather, it belonged to the wholesaler, as I found out later. They had the option to leave or take whatever they needed if there was a greater demand for any item at any other location. That sure didn’t make me feel better then but I understand it now.

Finally, in a spiritual sense, there are some things the Lord may take away from us if He knows it isn’t good for us. Many of us, sadly, don’t like to think about giving something up, even when it is time to do so. True enough, He hears our prayers (we ARE praying, aren’t we?) but there is no mandate that He has to answer according to _our_ will (see 1 John 3:22 and 5:18). He knows what is best and doesn’t want to hurt us, does He?

So whether an Army truck or anything else, even if it’s taken away, there’s a reason for it. Do we know that reason? Probably not, down here, but I believe one day all will be made clear to us.

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