Encouragement for Today
Susanne Scheppmann, Co-editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)
I have hair issues. My hair tends toward silky and straight regardless of the current style. Do you remember when “big hair” was in style? My tresses didn’t cooperate. They went for the flat look. Or what about the new trend of cute flips outward and backward? Ha! Not my locks. They stubbornly hang downward obeying the command of gravity. As I said, I have hair issues.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful for my hair. Although, it doesn’t always oblige my daydreams of high-fashion hairdos, I wouldn’t trade my hair with anyone else. Why, because I have found that “hair products” give it strength to be what it isn’t. When I infuse it with an outside resource, it can literally stand up and do anything.
Each morning as I rub, squirt, and spray my head, it reminds me of my Christian walk of faith. When I attempt to perform on my own, I fall flat. But when I allow the Holy Spirit to infuse me with power, I move in strength. Even the Apostle Paul relied on the power, of Christ when he felt defeated. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” (NIV)
A Biblical example of hair issues, weakness and the power of God is Samson. Do you recall his story? If not, let me give you the cliff note version of a guy with major hair problems.
Samson was this hunky strong dude in the Old Testament. The Spirit of God rested on him from his birth. His mother was told not to cut his hair. Ever! He had great physical strength, which produced a big ego and lots of testosterone. Sadly, the guy held a penchant for attractive, but ungodly women. His romantic encounters created continuous havoc for many people. Finally, he fell in love with Delilah. His enemies bribed Delilah into finding out the secret of his strength so they could capture him. After much whining and manipulating, she discovered the secret to his mighty power; his hair had never been cut. Ah ha! The enemies cut his hair while he lay asleep on her lap. His strength vanished. His adversaries captured him, and then they gouged out his eyes and took him to grind their grain in a dank prison. Nice story so far, huh?
Scripture gives us a glimpse of Samson’s thoughts in Judges 16:20, “…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.” (NIV)
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Samson’s hair not only grew back, but he realized where to obtain true strength. The Bible concludes this story with Samson praying, “O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes." (Judges 16:28, NIV) After this prayer, the Lord graciously fulfilled Samson’s prayer.
Just like Samson, sometimes we falsely believe we can do life on our own terms. When we try to survive in our power and strength, we fail. If we are to thrive, we must let Christ permeate us with His power. Then we can say along with the Apostle Paul, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NIV)
So, if you are like me and have “hair issues,” let your morning beauty routine become a time of prayer for strength for the day. As you coat your hair with mousse, gel and hairspray, allow God to pour His Holy Spirit into your soul. You’ll be amazed at the staying power of your tresses, but also at the power of God in your life each day.
My Prayer for Today:
O Sovereign Lord, remember me. Give me the spiritual strength I need for today. Each morning as I get ready for the day, remind me to ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit. I know that it is only through Your power, that I can do all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Take a moment to count how many hair products you possess. Include shampoo, conditioner, gel, mousse, hairspray, etc. Think about what each product does for your hair and why? Now ask God to do the same thing within you. Ask Him to clean, soften, straighten, and strengthen you, so that you may say, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
What type of issues do I carry around each day?
What are my weaknesses?
Do I believe I can live my life without the help of Christ?
Am I willing to show my weaknesses and to ask God for help?
Exodus 15:13, “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” (NIV)
Psalm 18:32, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (NIV)
John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” (NASB)
John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (NASB)
The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes
Shaped with Purpose (workbook), by Renee Swope
Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland
Originally published Friday, 04 November 2005.