Sermon Illustrations

In Cornwall, England, you can visit a place called “The Eden Project.” The Eden Project attempted to build the perfect environment in which plants and trees could flourish. Obviously named for the Garden of Eden, this collection of “biomes,” huge domes, provide a tightly monitored atmosphere with a perfect temperature range and humidity. There are no insects and there is no pollution. What more could a tree want?

But there was a problem.

After this wonder of science was built, the scientists on the project noticed something strange. The leaves on the big trees were beginning to wilt and the branches were starting to droop. Puzzled, they consulted a tree expert. After studying the situation, he reported, “Your problem is that there is no wind in the environment. It’s the wind that pushes and moves the tree fibers forcing the nutrients and moisture to be drawn up from the ground. Trees need the stress of the wind or they won’t thrive!” (source: http://www.rbc.org/bible-study/strength-for-the-journey/2009/01/06/daily-message.aspx)

How much is that like our lives?

A lot!

Given a choice, we would construct our own little “Eden Project” around our homes, our families, our dreams, and our futures. In our bubble, we would have just the right emotional climate—a controlled and restricted atmosphere where we could click the delete button keeping out unwanted news and pain. Trouble would be carefully filtered before it could reach us, keeping us well protected from the “pollution” of suffering and heartache. In our dream world, we would no doubt think that designing this stress-free environment would provide a spiritual climate in which we could thrive! (source: http://www.rbc.org/bible-study/strength-for-the-journey/2009/01/06/daily-message.aspx)

BUT THE TRUTH IS WE WOULD NOT THRIVE. WE WOULD ATROPHY. JOHN’S APOCALYPSE SHOWS US THAT GOD IS NOT GOING TO ISOLATE US FROM LIFE’S THREATS BUT GOD WILL INSULATE YOU WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND GIVE YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO BE STRENGTHENED BY THE “GREAT STRUGGLE” RATHER THAN DESTROYED BY IT.

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