Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Knowing God through Suffering

Doctors and nurses were doing everything possible for my wife, the mother of my seven children, yet I could see the hopelessness in their faces. Through an emergency C-section during the fifth month of her pregnancy, it was discovered the detached placenta had grown through the uterus and attached itself to her bladder. Bleeding was so profuse during surgery that Kris was given 30 units of blood. As the night wore on, her battle for life became desperate.

I cried out, "God, what do you want? I know you can heal her; why don't you?" In the middle of my darkest night, God began to speak. I wanted a miracle. He wanted to discuss his nature.

"Do you believe I am a loving God?" the Spirit asked.

Sitting beside my wife's bed, amid the chaos of ICU, I needed to answer that question. I could have said, "No, God cannot be a loving God. Look around here. My wife is dying. My newborn daughter may die. I have to go home and tell six children that their mother will not come home again, Â…ever."

But that night God gave me the grace to see him as he is.

"Yes," I told him. "You are a loving God. No matter what happens here tonight I will not question your nature."

Kris's condition worsened.

Kris understood that all life is precious and was determined to give our child all she had to help her in her struggle to live. In the end, it cost Kris her life. Grace lived 16 days.

"What about our plans, God?" I asked. "Who will teach the kids, guide them, and love them like their mother?"

God laid it on the heart of a man to head up an effort which became known as "Help Bring Hope to the Hoyt Kids." In six months, hundreds of people worked, sent money, donated supplies and poured love into our family. Churches provided food daily; on weekends, as many as 50 people were fed.

I received more than 500 letters, e-mails and cards from people who said they were praying for us.

I am writing this in the house God has given us. The medical bills are gone. The house is paid for. I am working as well as schooling my children.

One night I lay awake, tormented with the memory of Kris fighting for her life. I tried to remember her with the light of life in her eyes, but all I could see was death. I could feel myself falling into depression when suddenly before me was a vision of Kris, so perfectly alive in Christ, shining and healthy. No pain, just pure joy on her face.

"See her as she is now," the Holy Spirit seemed to say. "She is alive."

Someday we will all be together with Jesus and our daughter Grace.

I asked God for the life of my wife; I received instead a lesson on the nature of God. God is good. Armed with that knowledge, I have no fear for today or the future. God will always be enoughÂ…for any situation.

Related Sermon Illustrations

God Provides Big and Small

In the mid 1980s, my family moved to northern Saskatchewan to start a church. As a church planter, part of my support was funded by the local mission. Most months were difficult financially. ...

[Read More]

$20 Arrives as Answer to Couple's Prayer

Author Elmer Towns writes:

My wife and I went through college by faith. If we had not prayed together daily through all our difficulties, I don't know how we would have made it. ...
[Read More]