Posted Thu, 06/14/2012 - 12:00am by Kathy Banta
In the winter of 1975, I lived in the small town of Huxley, Iowa. That winter we got a generous amount of snow. My older brother Jerry, with the help of my sister Janni, built a snow fort in the back yard where he tunneled through the snow drifts, with three openings tunneling to the center. It was pretty fantastic and not a little job. He had put quite a bit of time and thought into the creation of this wintry fort. He invited my younger brother Dan and me to come and explore his masterpiece. I crawled in following Dan, who was much more adventurous. I cautiously moved through the tunnel. Suddenly, I realized that Dan had already made his way through the tunnel and I was alone. In the curve of the tunnel, my view of the outside was blocked and the light was dim. Something within me was filled with fear and I stood up. I stood up! Much to the horror of my older brother, I stood up, wrecking one wing of his creation.
Recently I heard someone say, in the midst of a dysfunctional situation, that "God must be moving things around for His will." I've thought about this for awhile and I would like to say, HOG WASH! In our immaturity, we like to label everything God. Often when we can't understand a circumstance we throw it on God and say, "oh well, it must be God!" I strongly believe in trusting God when it all seems to make no sense. I know He's good and I know He sees it all, therefore, I trust that He sees and cares for me. I believe God is watching out for me, even though I've had my share of heartache and disappointments, but sometimes, we people mess it up! We stand up when we're suppose to move forward and trust in Him, and when we stand up we break down what was His creative plan. Sometimes things are going right, but people in their human nature let insecurity, jealousy, competitiveness, and arrogance, derail the plan God had in play, making it a mess.
In the story of Sampson, God granted him unnaturally great strength in order to defend his people. He killed a lion with his hands. He fought and killed a thousand men in a battle with the jawbone of a donkey as his weapon. His potential was great because God had granted it to him for God's purpose, but Sampson got sloppy. He took his eyes off of what God's plan was and got arrogant. He liked the ladies! What man doesn't? But he lacked self-control, he felt invincible and cocky, he stopped following the covenant he'd made to God, therefore choosing to depend on himself, instead of God. Honestly, it can be a lot more fun to think we are so smart and that we are in control. That's when Delilah slithered up to him like the beautiful snake in the Garden of Eden. He confided in her that his hair was a sign of his covenant with God. Delilah, being a spy, lulled Sampson to sleep and called for a man to shave Sampson's head leaving him broken hearted and humbled. He knew he had done wrong when God's blessing was lifted and his strength was gone. Captured and tortured for years, he stood mocked by his enemies. Then one day after his hair grew back, he asked God to bless him one last time. God, in His mercy, allowed it. Sampson stood chained to the pillars of a great banquet hall, as a prop for his enemies to boast of their victories, as they partied. He shook those pillars and that building fell, killing more of his enemies than he had ever killed in battle. This was not the plan God had desired for Sampson's life, but God also knew that Sampson, in his free will, was going to struggle with this and was going to falter. Yet, in the end, God allowed Sampson to come back around and do the right thing, granting him victory.
When our human sides get in the way and things go down a path that God has not blessed, we have choices. We can continue down the road of destruction, or we can look to God, because God always provides a way out. He can redeem and rebuild, and it's always greater than any plan we could ever form. When we choose to humble ourselves and follow His way, not only is it better, we are the victors.