Monday, August 9, 2010

Devotional Snapshot 77 - Failure

"Not even Samson's failures could prevent the accomplishment of God's great purposes."
Parenting Is Your Highest Calling and 8 Other Myths ....Leslie Leyland Fields

Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, "O LORD God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!" And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left. Then Samson said, "let me die with the Philistines!"
And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life. Judges 16: 28-30

So Samson, a baby of promise to a barren couple, grows up to disappoint his parents and disobey his God. As I read Judges 14, 15, and 16 Samson reads like a failure. He breaks God's law by marrying a foreign woman, touching a dead carcass, committing adultery.

In the midst of his free-spirited rebellion against God, he was at the same time being used to bring havoc against the enemies of the Israelites. Our gracious God punished the wicked Philistines using the rebel Samson.

Samson's behavior did not go unpunished. The LORD departed from him. (Judges 16: 20) No longer the Spirit empowered strong guy. With his eyes put out, bound in bronze fetters, he was placed in prison as a blind grinder.

And yet, God's great purposes are still accomplished. Samson at the end of his life lifts his heart back up to God and God graciously answers his last prayer and gives him supernatural strength one more time. Ultimately God's perfect will is done for the Israelites and for the Philistines.

So today I was reading about the unselfish church of China, while feeling very selfish. I have work to do on my day off. Our fun day will be cut short because of it....and inwardly (alright, I whined out loud to my husband) I whined.

Here I am wanting to be like the Chinese Christians and when I have opportunity to love others better than myself I hesitate - I complain.

I love myself way better than I love others. And an even bigger failure is that I do not love God with all my heart. These are daily failures.

I take heart in the quote above. Nothing prevents the accomplishment of God's purposes, not even my sin.

And I take heart in God's daily dose of forgiveness. And I take heart in this: Mark 10:27 "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."

Thank God for having a plan for you that can use the good, bad, and ugly. Trust Him. It's going to be okay. Your failure is not final.

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