I read of a minister who felt so depressed and defeated that he was ready to give in to discouragement. One morning as he sat dejectedly by the window, he looked outside and noticed a starling perched on the sill. The bird seemed to look steadily at him and chirp what sounded like "Give it up! Give it up!" in starling language. The pastor thought about his seeming failure in the work God had given him. Was the starling sending him a message?

As the pastor contemplated this question, his wife entered the room. When he told her what had happened, she went to the window to listen. The starling again chirped the phrase that sounded like "Give it up! Give it up!" The pastor's wife laughed, then turned to her husband and said with a smile, "Why, that starling is saying, 'Keep it up! Keep it up!' not give it up."

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Sermons Illustrated