Tasting the honey

"I want honey," she whines for honey drizzled over her Cheerios. Life is sweeter when we stop to taste the honey, when we stop to see the honey of God's blessings.
Samson was a miraculous gift as the couple was barren (Judges 13:2). Though, when you discover his strong-willed, self-centered, persistent, flippant personality, you have to reason that he was an incredibly difficult child to raise. Yet he was a gift.
Come to mind God's special gift, a child we weren't necessarily planning, yet God is a good Giver and blessed us. This pink package is our most strong-willed, persistent child. Yet she is a gift. I confess I do not always receive her as a sweet gift. Perhaps because she is a gift God uses to refine me.
At news of the child, Samson's parents were eager to raise the child in the way of the Lord. Manoah asks what is the child's manner life and what is his mission (Judges 13:12). No doubt these parents followed the messenger of the Lord's instructions. Prior to conception through marriage age, they obeyed the Lord by keeping Samson pure, set apart to the Lord's service. However, at some point in Samson's parents' life, they had to trust the Lord with His plan for Samson's life. Samson, determined to get the desirable Philistine woman at Timnah, was part of God's plan to gain leverage against the Philistines who were afflicting Israel (Judges 14:4). His parents knew Samson should take an Israelite woman as a wife, not a foreigner. What is a parent to do when their children make poor choices? Trust in the Lord. Do I trust my children to the Lord? Do I let them make mistakes, believing God will protect them and His will be done? Or do I parent out of fear…that the golden heads will fall into my bents toward sin, that they will make mistakes that are too big (this is unbiblical heresy)!
Samson's parents didn't see all Samson's battles. On his way to Timnah, Samson tears a lion apart using the gifting of the Spirit: superhero-like strength. Although, he breaks one of his Nazirite vows by touching a dead body, I wonder if this is symbolic of the battles children face while their parents aren't helicoptering. Still, God gave Samson his gift of strength. Interestingly, God revealed to Samson, not his parents, what his gifting was. So God will reveal to His children their gifting. And God will refine His children, it is the parent's job to be obedient to Him as Samson's parents were in keeping the Nazirite vow while raising him.
Samson didn't want his parents to know that he had broken the Nazirite vow and that honey had come from the dead lion carcass. Yet they tasted the sweetness. Could this be a type of reward for his parents? Will God allow me to taste the sweetness of obedience to Him in raising His child. The golden heads will at times choose disobedience (as do I), but when I am obedient, will I taste the sweetness of my child's giftings? Now and years from now, God will allow me to enjoy the sweetness of watching my golden heads do the good work He has prepared of them.
Even after the disaster of his first wedding celebration, his parents were there for him to return to (Judges 14:19). This is the last mention of Samson's parents. Will I repeatedly have open arms for my children to return to unashamedly, knowing they will be accepted and loved?
God has loved me with an everlasting love.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continues my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:3
He never comes to end with me. I confess that I do come to the end of it with my children, but through God's gift and power, I can love them as He loves me.
In which way do you most relate to Samson's parents: receiving God's gifts, obedience, trust, tasting His sweetness or everlasting love and acceptance? First acknowledging His gifts, then we can begin to taste the honey of blessings. Praise God for His gifts, the power He gives to obey and trust His ways, His blessing and faithfulness.

Take My Life

  1. Unexpected to me, the life of Samson (Judges 13-16) resounds greatly in my soul. Two totally different topics strike me. Samson's parents and Samson as a servant of God. First, Samson as God's servant.
  2. As a child we read stories of Samson, impressed by his God-given gift of strength, like a Old Testament Superhero. Yet, as an adult we see Samson's life marked by lack of character and missed opportunity to bring God glory. Samson was self-indulgent, hot-headed and lacked self-control. Had Samson lived for God and others instead of himself, what an inspiration he would have been. Yet God used Samson to do His will and protect the Israel from total oppression by the Philistines for twenty-years. Samson could have totally saved Israel and ruled in righteousness had He been totally sold out to God. However, this was God's plan and His plan always prevails. When God's servants are not seeking Him for direction or obeying His ways, they aren't submitting to God's divine authority and typically, it doesn't go very well.
  3. Taking stock of my life, am I really that much different than Samson? In struggling to rebuild relationship with the engineer, what God has revealed to me most recently is how selfish I am with my time. Saturday with the family, continually self-speaking, Die to self. "Yes, I'd love to help you do that."It's not about me. "Yes, I'd love to look for that with you." Direct my paths Lord. "Yes, let's play a game." Left on my own, I would have rather had done something for myself, shopped for myself, spent money on myself, made my favorite dinner. But, I've tried that and it didn't go very well. For years, after the golden heads were tucked in tight, I spent my time doing what I wanted to do. Time was seldom spent doing something with the engineer. Under the same roof, we went our own ways. It doesn't take long before I realized, I don't have any of the same interests as this man I live with and I don't even think I love him. Yet love is a choice. I need to choose to build relationship with him. I need to put myself aside and choose him. It wasn't going well. What's amazing is choosing to put self aside and spend time with the engineer immediately results in a closeness and intimacy. It's so evident. Choosing God's way and prioritizing others is the way God will bless.
  4. My life these days is filled with self talk. I don't know how long this happens before it becomes first nature. Maybe it never will be. But it is the right road.
  1. The path of the righteous is the like the light of the dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. Proverbs 4:18
  1. My life is not mine. I do believe my favorite hymn is "Take My Life," by Frances R. Havergal.
  2. Take my life and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
    Take my moments and my days,
    Let them flow in endless praise.
  3. Take my hands and let them move
    At the impulse of Thy love.
    Take my feet and let them be
    Swift and beautiful for Thee.
  4. Take my voice and let me sing,
    Always, only for my King.
    Take my lips and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee.
  5. Take my silver and my gold,
    Not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect and use
    Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
  6. Take my will and make it Thine,
    It shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart, it is Thine own,
    It shall be Thy royal throne.
  7. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself and I will be
    Ever, only, all for Thee.

  8. Take some time to sing to the Lord and ask yourself these questions: Am I choosing to live for the Lord or for myself? Does my life inspire others to walk more closely with the LORD? Decide to yield yourself to His complete control and rest in His strengthening power.