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When the Bottom Falls Out

Daniel shows us a godly response in the face of great suffering.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Standing Your Ground". See series.

I remember the events that led to her tears. My wife, Kathy, had come home from a weekly grocery trip with more than groceries to be concerned about. She came into the house holding the lip of a full grocery sack in one hand, balancing a crying baby on the other arm, and urging forward two pre-school sons who were straggling behind. Just as she squeezed through the back door and swung around the kitchen counter, the side of the paper grocery sack ripped. The sack and everything in it crashed to the floor, including a large, economy-size bottle of liquid dish soap. When the soap bottle hit the linoleum, the lid sprang off, the honey-like innards glugged out, and the mess spread across the kitchen floor.

Kathy told me what happened next. She put the crying baby (still crying) into her highchair, she told the two toddlers to stay out of the mess, and she leapt across the puddle of soap to reach the paper towels. Then, as she got down on her knees to sop up the soap, she heard a strange hissing sound coming from the grocery sack. Despite its torn lip, the sack was sitting half upright on the floor where it had crashed. Kathy looked inside to see what was hissing. A two-liter, strawberry soda bottle had ruptured inside the dropped bag. The hissing sound was the escaping soda rapidly filling the bottom of the paper sack. Kathy grabbed the bottle and the few groceries remaining in the grocery sack and threw them in the sink. Then slowly, ever so carefully, she lifted the paper sack with its pool of soda and inched toward the sink. She almost made it. But then the bottom fell out. Carbonated strawberry soda and liquid detergent swirled around her feet. The result? Strawberry suds! The kids loved it; but not mom—not even a little ...

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Bryan Chapell is the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:


I. The response of prayer

II. The response of praise

III. The response of proclamation

IV. A shift of focus