Sermon Illustrations

Pastor Mark Buchanan speaks of going to Uganda, Africa. He went to a little township called Wairacka. On Sunday evening, about 100 Christians from neighboring areas would gather to worship. They met under a tin roof lean-to that was set at the edge of a corn-field. They sat (when they did sit) on rough wood benches. The floor was dirt.

The instruments were old. Some of the guitars didn’t have all the strings. But my, they could worship. They made hell run for cover when they got loose. There was one guy with the missionary group – a real stiff-backed, buttoned-down white-collar boy, who liked his worship staid and orderly and brief. And even he couldn’t stand still. He was jumping, clapping, yelling out his hallelujahs.

One Sunday evening, the pastor asked if anyone had anything to share. A tall, willowy woman came to the front. She was plain featured, but she was beautiful. She started, “Oh, brothers and sisters. I love Jesus so much.” The worshipers shouted back, “Tell us sister, tell us.” “Oh, I love Him so much. I don’t know where to begin to tell you how God He is.” “Begin there sister. Begin right there!” She said, “Oh, He’s so good to me.

I praise Him all the time for how good He is to me. For three months I prayed to the Lord for shoes. And look.”

At that, the woman cocked her leg so that everyone could see one foot. One very ordinary shoe covered it. “He gave me shoes. Hallelujah. He’s so good.” And the Ugandans clapped and yelled and shouted back, “Hallelujah!” The pastor said,

“I didn’t shout. I didn’t utter a sound. I was devastated. I sat there hollowed out, hammered down. In all my life, I had not once prayed for shoes. In all my life, I had not once thanked God for the many, many shoes I have.”