The Word of God, in reference to Samson, states: “Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.” (Judges 16:30)
Often when I read through the story of Samson’s life (found in its entirety in Judges 13-16), I find myself thinking, “Why in the world would God use such a selfish and lustful man to perform such mighty deeds?” Then that thought is quickly followed by relief that God did use him, because it leaves room for hope for people like me.
It seems it was not until the end of his life that Samson actually began to “get it.” Only after he became a prisoner – completely stripped of his strength, humbled without his eyesight, and relying on someone else to guide him in his steps – did he call to the Lord in prayer. And even then, his prayer seems somewhat selfish. Kind of reminds me of… well, me. If there were not reference to Samson in Hebrews 11:32, I might question if he really had much faith in God at all. A question that, again, causes me to note a striking resemblance to myself.
Regardless of the motives of Samson’s heart, God answered his prayer by granting him the greatest victory of his lifetime. Yet this victory came at a price. It cost Samson his life.
Living victoriously comes at the price of dying.
And perhaps that, my friend, is what true victory is really about. Surrendering ourselves so completely into the Father’s care that it is as if we have died… so that we can live.
Lost so fully within the desires of God that we begin to find ourselves in His will in ways that we have never before experienced.
Trading our finite dreams, our pride, our way of doing things, our wants and wishes for something bigger. Something beyond this temporal world.
Gaining great victory means that we must be willing to forfeit everything. Giving every last bit of our life for the sake of the Cross.
In the words of the song One Life to Lose by Laura Story, we may find ourselves coming face to face with this tug-of-war between living and dying to ourselves:
I’m torn again, between my pride, my old friend
And who You’ve called me to be.
I’ve sworn again, to lay it down, to bring an end
To this life lived for me.
For I’ve one life to lose, one chance to find
A newer, better me, the old one left behind.
For there’s one Lord who leads, though steep the cost.
I have learned when I am lost,
It’s there that I am found.
As frustrating and arrogant as Samson seemed throughout the majority of his life, I can’t help but think I might have liked the man he became in the end. A broken soul who realized his need for a Savior. A man lost, but found.
In this story, I am reminded that there is only One Lord who leads. And though the cost of following Him may be steep, it is so worth it.
For I have learned when I am lost, it’s there that I am found…