I listened to a 3-part sermon last night about Samson. I’ve never liked Samson. He seems brutish and stupid to me. I’ve always been disgusted at his behavior.
I listened to these sermons on Spotify on a podcast called, Creekside Church. I also found their sermons online at http://www.creeksidechurch.org/sermons Every sermon I’ve heard there has been terrific.
I saw something this morning that reminded me of the sermon. It was two trees located in the neighboring apartment parking lot. I love these kind of trees because in the winter, when the snow clings to their branches, birds come and eat the red berries.
But in the 5 years I’ve lived here, the trees have never been pruned. The one in the foreground has branches growing in all directions and there are bare spots where nothing grows. It looks a mess, which reminded me of Samson’s life. He was always reaching out to find a woman who could fulfill his life. This always turned out messy and sometimes deadly.
The pastor said Samson’s life is an example for us what NOT to do. Yes, of that I am sure. He said his problem was his unchecked desires. Samson would say: “I want it, I deserve it and I can handle it.”
I remembered those were the very words I used to say to myself about my gambling addiction. I said to myself, “I want to gamble. It is so exciting and there is nothing like the thrill of winning.” I said, “I deserve this. My life is hard, constantly spent helping other people. I deserve some fun.” I said, “I can handle this. “I will stop before I lose too much.”
And I tried to, but I couldn’t. I spent too much, way too much. I usually spent all the money I had that was for my clothes or extras for the house. One time, when I was also an alcoholic, I spent $400 my husband had saved to fix the car.
I had prayed about it, and one day I thought of making a solemn vow to God to stop gambling in my city and the nearest cities. I’d leave a door open for vacations. Lol So, I did make the vow and kept it except for one time when I had a breakdown and was in the hospital all day. I did go to the casino that one time, but I know God forgave me as he forgives all things.
I now see myself as a tree not pruned. I reached out for happiness, excitement and love from things and people around me. It never worked. I didn’t feel much peace and little happiness until I had pretty well lost everything and everyone and was left with God alone.
I said to him, “Well God, it’s just you and me. I need you to fill the loneliness and emptiness of my life. I couldn’t see how he could do it, but he did. (I know I’ve written about this before.) Slowly he did it. He gave me reasons to live and enjoy life and I still feel that way. He showed me how not to let people hurt my heart. Yes, I can get sad sometimes, but I go to him right away. I pour out my heart to him and he shows me the way out of the sadness. He is enough for me. He is more than enough. I have never felt this joy inside before and it was well worth the pain to find his loving arms and faithfulness to me.