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Thursday, November 05, 2009

What might have been?

What might have been? Those are some of the most haunting thoughts that an individual can have. What might have been if only this had not happened? What might have been if I had chosen more wisely? What might have been if I had not listened to them? You know the feeling--it's a sinking one. We use that 20/20 hindsight to discover that the path we chose was neither wise nor profitable. God was not honored and now we are left with the pieces of...well, you know. You've been there. Maybe you're still there.

It happened to many of the well known heroes of Scripture. I'm thinking specifically of Samson today. Samson was destined for greatness from birth. He would deliver the Israelites from their long time nemesis--the Philistines. He would be God's man for this period in Israelite history. Oh, what might have been.

Then you get to five of the most disappointing words in Scripture at the end of Judges 16:19: ...And his strength left him.

All the promises and blessings are gone because Samson chose to listen to Delilah rather than to God. Every dream he had, every vision he longed to fulfill, was ripped away in the moment that he chose wrongly. But just as it is with all of us who have fallen, Samson is reminded of the grace of God. He's in prison at the hands of his captors. Eyes are gouged out and he's put to work grinding in a prison. It's there that we see the evidence of a God who restores (even those who have fallen so far). Verse 22 of that same chapter says, "But the hair on his head began to grow again..."

Isn't that cool? God's disappointment doesn't last forever. Yes, Samson had failed. He had chosen wrongly. So there had to be consequences. God had to teach his child that such mistakes wouldn't work. But God initiated grace...he caused Samson's hair (the sign of God's presence in his life NOT the source of his strength. God was the source) to grow. It was the original hair club for men. Only this one wasn't to attract ladies or make Samson feel better about himself. It was a sign that God would not forget Samson. He would restore him and allow him to finish his assignment. It was a reminder that you can never fall so far that God cannot find you.

Sounds good, huh? The promises of God restored to those of us who fail. The promise that he will never leave us where we are. He loves us too much. Choose rightly. Choose grace...then watch as the power is restored to your life. The hair will begin to grow again...and you will know God's presence again.

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