Sermon Illustrations

Game . . . Set . . . Match? (06.15.05--The Tie That Binds--1 John 4:16)

“What more can I do? I’ve given you the best that I have, everything that is mine to give is yours. I simply don’t know what more I can do?” If you’ve never uttered these words yet in your life, it is likely that someday you will. There seems to come a time in everyone’s lives when, feeling that we’ve done all that we can do to affect a certain situation, we simply come to an end, There are no more thoughts to weigh or deeds to initiate. It seems, for the moment, that we have expended our potential and now the “game” rests entirely with the object of our frustration, whether that be spouse, child or employer. In disbelief we stare ingratitude, disobedience or, perhaps, lovelessness face to face and we simply find ourselves out of options with which to deal with these things. Game . . . set . . . match, as they say in tennis.

Why is it that we often reach such moments in life when we’ve given all that we have to give but, for some reason, it’s just not enough? We face a situation that requires more but there is no more to give. As parents I guess that we’ve been there many times. A child cries in the night and we have to get up with it for the who knows how many times. Or, we’re faced with a behavior that surpasses all logical understanding and we stare down at a defiant glare and wonder “From what deep pool of love’s reserve will I find enough love to go one more mile with this child?”

When it seems so obvious to us that all that we could have done has been; when we feel emptied of love’s most precious reserve, hitting that impenetrable wall of helplessness is one of the most lonely and frustrating times in life for a parent. We wonder where the love has gone and when it will return. We may become wearied of our own ability to love and what had been a situation under our love’s control may now become lost.

Yet, the fact remains, how is it that somehow these things always seem to work out anyway. Is it that there is some secret reserve of love in every parent’s heart that is just waiting to be tapped? Actually, when we say we’re emptied out and there is little if anything left on which to draw, we are probably pretty close to the truth. The fact of the matter is that our feelings come and go. As our loves wax and wane with the tides of life, we weary of other people’s needs and wants. There are days when we have plenty to give and days when we are empty. The actions of our children or our boss are tolerable sometimes and other times not. But, thank God that He never wearies of us. His love is steadfast and without end. C. S. Lewis wrote, “(His) love is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.” (Mere Christianity, bk III) There is no game . . . set . . . match with God. The game is never over when we are dealing with His “matchless” love.

Comforting Thoughts for the Passing Day!

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