Sermon Illustrations

Terry Fisher, of San Mateo, California, speaks about reading Marilyn J. Abraham’s book, First We Quit Our Jobs. She writes: "We signed up for a hike with a ranger, who told us a remarkable thing: when a tree’s life is threatened, stressed by the elements of fire, drought, or other calamity, it twists beneath its bark to reinforce and make itself stronger. On the surface, this new inner strength may not be visible, for the bark often continues to give the same vertical appearance. Only when the exterior is stripped away, or when the tree is felled, are its inner struggles revealed." The point he made that spoke to him when he read this was, “God can use our grief to strengthen us in ways that are not visible to the world.”