Sermon Illustrations

A Power Higher Than I

After trying everything else, Shelly was present for her first Alcoholics

Anonymous meeting. Skeptical and listening half- heartedly at first, the

words of Martha caught her attention. Martha told the group, "I just knew

that I could handle alcohol and my other problems on my own, but I couldn’t.

Seven years ago I came to my first A.A. meeting and since that time I have

grown as a person beyond anything I could have ever imagined."

Martha exuded confidence and depth. She spoke of a power "higher than I,"

the God of Jesus Christ, and the way in which God now lived at the center of

her life. Her words oozed with sincere encouragement and concern. Most of

all, Martha exhibited a thankfulness which words could not express. Shelly,

who came to the meeting doubtful that anything she would hear would change

the way she felt or thought, made her way to Martha when the meeting was

over. "I want what you have," Shelly told Martha, "I want what you have."

Shelly wanted the compassion and depth and hope which Martha knew, but she

may not have realized fully how Martha came to know those things. Martha

learned compassion from a time of deep personal suffering. She acquired

spiritual depth from hours of praying when there was nowhere else to turn.

She discovered hope by taking one step at a time because "one day at a time"

was too much to be expected.

Shelly said, "I want what you have. Where do I get it?" And Martha told her,

"It comes from being right where you are and doing just what you are doing."

Martha went on to tell Shelly the oddest story about learning compassion

when we are hurting, and learning love when we are excluded, and learning

hope when we are helpless. In short Martha said that it is out of Egypt that

we are called.

And Then Came The Angel, William B. Kincaid, III, CSS Publishing Company,

Inc, 1998. Adapted.

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