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July 23, 2020

I have made mistakes; I know I have made mistakes and I admit I have made mistakes. Because of those mistakes, I experienced one of the most humiliating and embarrassing things in my life. The experience is having to wear handcuffs. There is something demeaning about wearing handcuffs. Not only is it humiliating to have them put on you, it is even worse when people see you wearing them. I deserved to have the handcuffs on me because of my mistakes. But how many times to we handcuff ourselves for the mistakes we make?
“If anyone was wild at heart, it was Samson. He had extraordinary strength and ability. And he made some extraordinary mistakes. But when we read about Samson in the New Testament, he’s described as one of the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32). He’s the perfect illustration of the fact that God uses all types of people. And He uses us in spite of our failings and weaknesses. Samson’s great physical strength was a gift from God, and he used it ferociously. But Samson’s failings came when the pressures of life got too much, and he eventually relented to the charms of Delilah. Who can’t sympathize with this sort of thing? None of us are immune to the charms and attention of those we are attracted to, and Delilah was, I am sure, quite a looker!
When we fail to draw on God’s strength and we give up or relent, the consequences almost invariably damage us. But our failings are never our endings. They are simply part of being human and of our journey back to Christ – back home. Samson ended up bound, blinded, and in chains. But the story didn’t end there. Samson’s strength and success were always greatest when ‘the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him’ (Judges 14:6, 19; 15:14). On the ultimate occasion when the Spirit of the Lord fell on Samson, ‘the ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands’ (Judges 15:14).
This is what happens when we submit and seek the presence of Christ in our lives. God helps release us from our weaknesses, bad habits, obsessions, and addictions. And we all have them. Samson’s story reminds us that what God did in the Old Testament in a physical way. He also did in the New Testament in a spiritual way. The arms of Christ are always open, willing us on, and strengthening us against the arrows of life that seek to damage us. He tenderly removes the bindings from our hands.” (Bear Grylls, Soul Fuel)
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
The spirit shoots an arrow. It is past us before we can see it clearly! But if we follow, eventually we come to the place where it has lodged. And we realize the arrow is not important. What is important is the place it has guided us to. (William Kent Krueger)
Don’t be handcuffed by the mistakes you have made because our failings do not have to be our endings. Let Christ remove those handcuffs and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. God bless and God’s got this!

About Rev. Bud Budzinski

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