Sermon Illustrations: Trusting God
Faith looks ahead with courage, while unbelief looks back with complaint. Roy Funu
A man was walking on a pitch black night when he fell over a cliff. On the way down, he managed to grab hold of a small tree sprouting out of the side of the precipice. Desperately he began to call out for help and a voice answered, "What do you want?" "I'm stuck down here holding on to a tree." he replied. "I can't hold on too much longer. Can you help me?" "Yes," came the reply. "Who are you ?" the man asked. "I'm God," replied the voice. "What do you want me to do?" asked the man. "Let go of the tree." For a while there was silence. Then the man called out and said, "Is there anyone else up there?"
Jonah had to trust in God, because there are only two ways out of a fish.
Florence Chadwick, noted for swimming the English Channel in both directions, decided to swim the 21 mile stretch of icy water between Catalina Island and the coast of California. It had never been done by a woman, and at age 34, she was determined to be the first. The chosen date was 4th July, 1952, a holiday, and much of the country was watching on television. At several points during the swim, rifles had to be blasted over the waves to fend off the sharks. After nearly 16 hours in the water, she complained of numbness. She squinted to see the shore, but the fog reduced her visibility to almost zero. She called out to her mother and her trainer in the rescue boat that she couldn't go on. They encouraged her to continue, but when she looked to where she thought the shore should be, she could see nothing. She gave up and was pulled out from the water. Imagine how she felt when she discovered that she was only half a mile from shore. She knew she physically could have done it. Later, she told reporters that she wasn't making excuses for her failure, but "if only I could have seen land, I know I could have made it." She was right. Just a few weeks later she attempted the same swim, under the same foggy conditions, and finished the swim in record time. Not only did she become the first woman to complete the icy stretch, but she beat the men's record by two hours.
Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit. R E Shay.
"When I lay me down to sleep," he [Admiral Nelson] wrote, "I recommend myself to the care of Almighty God; when I awake I give myself up to His direction. Amidst all the evils that threaten me, I will look up to Him for help, and question not but that He will either avert them or turn them to my advantage. Though I know neither the time nor the manner of my death, I am not at all solicitous about it, because I am sure that He knows them both, and that He will not fail to support and comfort me."1
1 Howarth, David & Howarth, Stephen Nelson: The Immortal Memory p113