Sermon Illustrations

There is a story about an old farmer whose mule fell into a well. After many unsuccessful attempts to haul the mule out of the hole, the farmer decided it was hopeless. With sadness, he instructed his boys to fill up several truckloads of dirt and just bury the old mule right in the well. The boys backed up the truck filled with dirt, and shovel by shovel, they began to fill the well and bury the mule. The mule didn’t take kindly to this action. The first shovel of dirt hit him square on the head, got in his eyes and mouth, and made him sneeze.

Every shovel full after that hit him somewhere, causing the old mule to stomp around in the bottom of the well. Several truckloads of dirt later, the mule was still stomping and packing dirt firmly underneath his feet. Little by little, that mule was lifting itself out of the hole. Sure enough, about mid-afternoon that mule simply stepped out of the well and snorted at the whole business.

There are different ways people have of dealing with problems life throws at them. Some are constant complainers. They do not handle setbacks and upsets very well. Some of them cannot even handle normal events. Others are defeated at the slightest difficulty. Quite a few get confused, turned around and seem not to know what to do. Then there are a few who are unconquerable. They are like the mule. Problems can hit them square on the head, but they just stomp around enough until they actually use the problem to rise above it.

Look at the great heroes of the Bible. They were men and women who could match the occasion. Moses was that kind of man. Surely Joseph, who rose from the bottom of a pit to a leader of Egypt, was that kind of man. Could David have been anything other than the kind of man who rose above his faults and problems? Esther was surely the kind of woman who did not let problems paralyze her. On and on we could go, but you see the point.

How was all this done? The reason such people could rise out of the "wells" of life is because they all had a great faith in God. It is a childish attitude that says, "If God loved me, He would take away all these problems." Not so! The opposite is really true. If God loves you, He will reveal Himself to you through His Word and give you opportunity to let your faith lift you up. God wants us to learn how to do it. He wants us to work at it. When you realize that and accept it, it will give you a power to deal with living you never had before.