The story is told of an old man who had died and his funeral was in progress. The preacher talked at length of the good traits of the deceased—what an honest man he was, and what a loving husband and kind father he was. Finally, the widow leaned over and whispered to one of her children, “Go up there and take a look in the coffin. Tell me if that’s your Pa in there.”
Sometimes a person is remembered as being better than they were. And we need to remember that we preach our funeral while we’re living. We’re all going to pass away one day, and if you died today, would you be proud of what the preacher would say at your funeral? Would those who get up to speak and attest to your life and character have to lie or embellish the truth?
We’re taking a break in the middle of our series, The Story, to examine more closely the life of one of the men we skimmed over as we read chapter 8 in The Story. That man is Samson. His story is told in Judges 13-16. Samson was born with incredible potential and expectations. He was a superstar in the making, and everything he needed was given to him. But Samson never lived up to his purpose. He didn’t deal with the wounds of his past. He kept too many secrets, refused to tame his temper, never learned to seek God fully, and couldn’t keep his pants on. Even though God was still able to use Samson, a lot of his life was simply wasted by poor choices.
God included stories in the Bible about people like Samson to encourage us to never lose hope…and to do better. From examining Samson’s story of a life well wasted, you can gain a renewed sense of God’s purpose for your life. You can learn from his mistakes so that you don’t do what he did. Your story is not yet finished. God can and will use you, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. The Bible is full of people who messed up, yet God still used them for His glory. It wasn’t too late for them; it’s not too late for you.
So, if you’ve messed up, and you’re trying to get back on your feet, decide right now to stop wasting your life. And remember that you don’t always have to do bad things to waste your life. Sometimes life is wasted by just being “normal” and “average.” On Sunday mornings beginning in June, we’re going to discover some important life lessons from Samson that will reveal how your life can be extraordinary. Please join us.