"...loose my strength..."
"She (Delilah) kept on asking him, day after day. He (Samson) got so sick and tired of her bothering him about it that he finally told her the truth. 'My hair has never been cut,' he said. 'I have been dedicated to God as a nazirite from the time I was born. If my hair were cut, I would lose my strength and be as weak as anybody else.'" (Judges 16:17)
Yesterday I was outside moving boxes around from our flooded basement and was surprised by this tiny one-inch-long critter appearing suddenly in my path. He was quickly making his way up his "rope" from the ground to a tree branch about ten feet above. Wow, what strength! If my math is correct that works out proportionally to me hoisting my body straight up a rope about 700 feet, a 70 story building. (Fat chance of that ever happening!) That's some strong caterpillar!
Ever lose your strength or have the wind knocked out of your sails? We know it happened to Samson. He gave in, told Delilah his secret, she cut his hair, and he lost his strength. I remember as a young boy going to see this story portrayed in a Hollywood movie. A lot of it went right over my very young head (like all the romantic stuff between Samson and Delilah), but the end made a dramatic impact. Samson returned to God, and his strength was restored.
There are lots of ways to lose our strength or the "wind in our sails." Sometimes it's of our own doing, and sometimes it's just the end result of circumstances over which we have little or no control. The resulting situation is the same. We feel "becalmed," just like a ship bobbing in the middle of the ocean without the power to move in the direction we need or want to travel. "How will I ever get through?" we may ask ourselves. "How will I ever find the strength again?"
When I find myself "becalmed" I often remember difficult times from the past that I've later wondered how in the world I got through. I realize that in those situations I found strength that I know was not my own, otherwise I would have lost the strength to continue and remained "becalmed." The strength I found came from God, no doubt about it. It's important when we find ourselves "becalmed" to actively turn our thoughts toward the Lord and seek the strength we need that we cannot create for ourselves. If we don't make an active effort, we risk remaining "becalmed" and falling into despair.
When I lose my strength I pray that I will remember to return to the Lord and find what I need to get through. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
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"...loose my strength..."