So much like us…so much like me. Want everyone to know we (I) can handle it, we’re in control, we’ve got our destiny wrapped up, our muscles taught, our stride in step, our abs six packed and our future bright.
While in the Southeast Asia in October I met a couple of young guys – without families for some or other reason. Never got the full story. We spent a couple of days together, becoming friends and sharing God’s love with them.
They were hilarious – every chance they got – shirts off, muscles flexing…didn’t take much coaxing for this picture. They were muscle men and tough guys and ready to let you know it.
OK! OK!…working on the six pack.
My favorite story in the Bible growing up (besides David for the namesake) was Samson. Know why?
Cause Samson was a bad mamma jamma, that’s why! Strong and tough and could beat anyone – even a lion!
As a 4 or 5 year old, I loved the picture in my Bible of Samson the muscle man fighting a lion with his bare hands and whipping a bunch of Philistines with a donkey jawbone (met a few guys who could bore me to death with their jawboning!).
He was all biceps, pecs and delts. In my fertile 5 year old mind I could just see myself having Samson-like exploits with an iron man physique.
That’s how you see me too right? Right? Bueller? Bueller?
Well…my kids’ Bible was wrong! Horror of horrors, I found out after reading some more a little later in life that apparently Samson was NOT the Hulk I imagined! In fact, he was so ordinary looking that the Philistines couldn’t figure out where in the world his power and might came from!
I imagine the Philistines watching this 98 lb pencil pushing Israelite pounding the pavement with their soldiers and scratching their heads asking “how does he do that?”
AFTER my initial grand disillusionment (which was quite grand), I have actually been able to take great solace in the following simple truth:
The power Samson had didn’t come from Samson, from Samson’s muscles, from Samson’s skills (bow staff, nun chuck or otherwise), his power didn’t even come from his commanding good looks.
His power came from one place and one place only. The Lord.
The Bible is full of inadequate, weak, powerless people, who God empowers for His task. In fact, 2 Chronicles 16:9 says “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
“To strengthen.” I need that so badly. Because as much as I want to be the Samson in the picture Bible and in my head – able to dominate all things with my mighty muscles…I’m just not. Hard to believe but it’s true….I don’t have it all together.
And it just gets worse. Even if I did have it all together right now, time is not on my side. As Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15…our bodies now disappoint us. We are wasting away…destined to be worm food.
But God (greatest pair of words in the English language)…His eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen (grab a hold of that word) those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Fully commit. Stand strong. The real One with all the muscle…will strengthen you.