Sermon Illustrations

A professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from bygone days was called home to be with the Lord. H. C. Brown. I have some of his books on preaching. His words and works continue to live in the hearts of preachers everywhere. H. C. Brown from the time of 10 years of age was afraid. Because he had rheumatic fever at age 10, his heart was left weakened. He hid that fact from everyone except his immediate family. He lived in fear that people would find out. For 36 years he was afraid.

When he was 46 years old Dr. Denton Cooley did surgery on him in Houston. He did some repair work on his heart. Out of that experience H. C. Brown would begin to say, “I am no longer running from my fear. I am walking toward it, in confidence and faith because of Jesus.”

He told a story in his book, Walking Toward Your Fear. A book that dealt with fear as it had come to grasp his own life. He said a friend of his had taught his daughter to walk toward her fear. One night she came home from a date. It was midnight. Her parents were already in bed. She went to bed. But she thought she heard something in her closet.

Ordinarily she might have felt a little passing fear and then drifted off to sleep. But her father had said, “Walk toward your fear.” She got up, walked to the closet and opened the door. Startled, there stood a man whom she didn’t know. When the door opened he bolted in panic. He knocked her down as he ran. He ran into the hallway. She screamed. He father came out. He saw the intruder. He ran after him. He tackled him. But he got up and jumped out of a second story window and disappeared. Later her father would say, “I taught my daughter to walk toward her fear. If she had not done that, her life could have been taken that night. Maybe all of us were in jeopardy, that night.”