Sermon Illustrations


Fred and Cheryl went to Haiti in 1985 to bring a child home that they had adopted. Addie was five years old. Her parents had been killed in a traffic accident that left her without a family, but as she walked across the tarmac to board the plane, the tiny orphan reached up and slipped her hands into the hands of her new parents whom she had just met. They described it as her "birth moment," when in that physical act of grasping their hands, she expressed an innocent, fearless trust in their care.

That evening, back home in Arizona, they sat down to their first supper together with their new daughter. There was a platter of pork chops and a bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. After the first serving, their two teenage boys kept refilling their plates. Soon the pork chops had disappeared and the potatoes were gone. Addie had never seen so much food on one table in her whole life. Her eyes were big as she watched her new brothers, Thatcher and Graham, satisfy their ravenous teenage appetites.

Fred and Cheryl noticed that Addie had become very quiet and realized that something was wrong. Was it agitation, bewilderment, insecurity? Then Cheryl guessed that it was the disappearing food. She suspected that because Addie had grown up hungry, when food was gone from the table she might be thinking that it would be a day or more before there was more to eat. Cheryl had guessed right.

She took Addie’s hand and led her to the bread drawer and pulled it out, showing her a back-up of three loaves. She took her to the refrigerator, opened the door, and showed her the bottles of milk and orange juice, the fresh vegetables, jars of jelly and jam and peanut butter, a carton of eggs, and a package of bacon. She took her to the pantry with its bins of potatoes, onions, and squash, and the shelves of canned goods—tomatoes and peaches and pickles. She opened the freezer and showed Addie three or four chickens, a few packages of fish, and two cartons of ice cream. All the time she was reassuring Addie that there was lots of food in the house, that no matter how much Thatcher and Graham ate and how fast they ate it, there was a lot more where that came from. She would never go hungry again.

Cheryl showed Addie that she was home and would never go hungry again. (Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection Eerdmans, 2010, pp. 159-160.)

Please, come home to the Lord and let Him show you the same thing. Return to the Lord and let him remind you of His abundant provision and His commitment to care for you.

(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Back to Bethel, 4/13/2011)

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