by Paula Harrington
Do you have a Bible character who annoys you to no end? I’m hoping you do, because mine is Samson.
In a time when the children of Israel had turned from God, Samson could have paved the way back to him (Judges 13:1). Samson could have used his great strength to deliver his people out of the hands of the oppressive Philistines. He could have encouraged the Israelites to seek God, but he was too busy seeking his own desires.
Samson’s sad demise came after his enemies gouged out his eyes (Judges 16:21), but let’s be honest here; Samson had been blind for most of his life. Samson grates my every nerve, because, too often, I see me in his story.
At times, we too have found ourselves blinded to God, his mission in this world, and the opportunities he sets before us. I love, though, how God allows us insight into so many lives throughout his word. Time and time again, he reminds us that we’re not alone; others have been where we are.
Sometimes we focus on what we love in this world. Like Samson, we flirt too closely with the devil. Demas did (2 Timothy 4:10).
How many people have been hurt by our need to be number one? The friends of Diotrephes knew that pain (3 John 1:9).
Sometimes we just want Jesus to solve our problems, but we refuse to let him change our lives. The disciples in Capernaum were very familiar with this (John 6:66).
There are many examples of good people taking the lead role of their stories away from God and making it their own. Failure is always near when I quit making this life about Christ and start making it about me.
Open your eyes, heart, and mind to what God is doing in and around you. Refuse to stand in your own way. Being strong isn’t always about overpowering and subduing others. Sometimes it’s just about conquering and controlling ourselves.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! (I Chronicles 16:11 ESV).