We all mess up. We all fall short of the glory of God. We all get it wrong sometimes. But let me tell you about God’s grace. Let me tell you about a mercy that covers every ounce of mess up, every hint of shortcoming, and every wrong you will ever do. You are covered in a grace that will catch you when you fall. You are immersed in a mercy that will always be more than enough.
God is already restoring what you messed up. He’s already redeeming where you failed. You just may not know it yet. And here’s the thing … the enemy of your soul doesn’t want you to know it. Satan wants you to wallow in this mess you made. He wants you to grow hopeless in the darkness of your regret. He wants you to be absolutely overwhelmed by failure, disappointed in the outcome, and convinced God will never give you another chance. But, girl, you’ve got to know that’s NOT God’s thoughts toward you.
I’ve been listening to a study on the life of Samson. I always knew of Samson as the guy in the Bible who was supernaturally strong guy with long hair. In my mind, he looks like Thor. His shirt is always off, his bronze skin is lathered in baby oil, and his hair looks way better than any man’s hair should look. (Ladies, it’s not fair when guys have such good hair, don’t you agree? Last Friday night my husband and I were out for a date night and in walks a guy with the most perfect messy bun on top of his head you’ve ever seen. It honestly made me angry. It was all so effortless and looked so good. Guys gotta stop with the good hair! All us girls are over here trying every product and night time twisty contraption we can attach to our head to make us look effortless. Boys, go back to your buzz cuts. Your hair isn’t supposed to be better than ours!)
But Samson had that good hair. Hair that had never been cut. His hair was a covenant with God. You see, Samson was a miracle baby given to a family who couldn’t have children. Those children were set apart for their entire lives with a special covenant. An angel visits this barren woman and says in Judges 13:5, “You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
Samson grew to be supernaturally strong. He was a warrior, led by the Spirit of God. He had been set apart since the day God created him to deliver his people from the enemy. No one could stop him. No one could hold him back. But, one could trick him. His strength was in his covenant with God. His covenant was symbolized in his uncut hair.
He fell in love with a woman named Delilah. A woman who was working for the Philistines to discover the source of his strength and defeat him. Delilah tricked him into telling her about his covenant with God, and revealing the source of his strength from God. What happened next is a vivid picture of wild failure.
Judges 16: 19-21, “After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.
Have you ever had wild failure? You build a business, then you ruin the business with one wrong move? You find love, then you hurt that love beyond repair with a mistake you can’t undo. You make great progress, then you fall off the wagon and get stuck in a rut you can’t seem to find your way out of. You experience success, then that success comes and chews you up and spits you out. You discover your purpose, you’re excited about your purpose, then you fall out of your purpose and lose your way.
Yes, this is Samson. He was unstoppable. He walked in supernatural strength. He had a divine calling on his life. He was undefeated, feared by his enemies, and loved by his people. And one mistake caused him to come crashing down. And the Lord had seemingly left him.
God’s power was no longer over his life. He was defeated. He was now bound, held captive, blind, and imprisoned. Now that’s failure. That’s defeat. That’s a fall.
What do you do when you’ve screwed up so bad the Lord has left you? Can you come back from that? We find our answer in the next sentence.
Don’t miss the next sentence. I’ve always overlooked the next sentence. You see, the next sentence is what we need today. It’s what I need in my failure, and it’s what you need in your rut, in your hole, in your prison, in your disappointment, in your overwhelm, in your perpetual cycle of screw up and beat up …
Verse 22, “But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.”
Had Samson majorly screwed up? Yes! Had his life been changed forever by his failure? Yes! Had God’s supernatural power left him? Yes. Had God’s grace and mercy left him? No! His hair started growing back.
His hair growing again was a reminder of God’s grace. He had broken his covenant with God, but God was regrowing it again. Rebuilding him again. Strengthening him again.
Here’s the thing about God, he never just walks away from us when we fail. He never gives up on us when we screw things up. Do we experience the consequences of our choices? Yes. However, God is forever in the act of redeeming his girls. He’s forever in the process of rebuilding us and renewing us to set us back on the path of our purpose.
Just as Samson’s hair began to grow again, you will begin to grow again too. After that failed business, after that broken marriage, after that horrible decision, after that bump in the road that knocked you off the wagon, after you screwed things up beyond repair, after you did it all wrong; instead of walking away from you, God will regrow you.
Isn’t that what he’s doing now? Isn’t that why you’re listening? God is regrowing you. He’s building you back up again to set you back on the path of your purpose. He’s not punishing you, he’s healing you. Restoring you. Growing you again.
And when God allows things to grow again in your life, remember what you do with that opportunity is up to you.
Samson regained his strength, and honestly what he did next was fueled by anger and vengeance. He used his renewed strength to tear down the pillars where 3,000 of the Philistines stood watching him perform. Yes, he took them all out, but he took himself out too.
God is going to renew your strength. He will pick you up and set your feet on solid ground. He will teach you lessons that will make you better than you ever were before. You will walk out of this with more faith and more experiences to give God glory. But if you use this renewed strength and hope to get even, be aware of what destruction you may bring upon yourself.
You are a girl covered in God’s grace and mercy, no matter what your past looks like. You are a girl created for a divine purpose, and you’re here today because God hasn’t given up on the purposes for which you were created. Let him regrow what has been lost in your life. And when he does, use it for good!