I could have stopped the building from crumbling, kept him from dying a horrible, crushing, embarrassing death. With my power, I could have helped my human assignment escape his disastrous predicament. If only he would have fulfilled his potential.
I am accustomed to arriving at the last minute to override evil intentions. My battle record confirms I banish evil entities with a broad stroke of my sharp, two-edged sword. But the command to intervene on his behalf never arrived. Actually, I heard my charge beg God Almighty to let him die.
It is frustrating to watch humans not live up to their potential. Sadder still, to watch helplessly as they squander God-given abilities, talents, and gifts in the futile pursuit of selfish desires and earthly pleasures.
I do not understand such things. I am a guardian angel with ten thousand at my command. Following orders with strategy, passion, and victory are concepts in my realm. Although that sounds impressive, my recent assignment was a man named Samson.
Miraculously born to a previously barren woman, God Almighty destined Samson to free the Israelites from Philistine oppression. Year after brutal year, this idolatrous, pagan nation tyrannized them. Granted, the Israelites deserved such treatment. They turned their backs on God, forgetting His numerous blessings. Still, seeing His people suffer hurt God’s heart. And so, I was dispatched to walk beside Samson in his role as deliverer.
As an eternal being with power unknown and unmatched by mere mortals, watching one person, group, or nation brutalize another is a strange curiosity. It perplexes me how humans, as recipients of God Almighty’s love, grace, and mercy, struggle to extend such undeserved gifts to each other.
As Samson grew, I saw God’s Spirit hovering over him. He was sanctified and set apart for God Almighty. A favored anointing pulsed over, around, and throughout him. Additionally, God granted supernatural strength for his destiny.
Yes, Samson was physically strong—stronger than all other mortals. Yet, it amused me to watch him flex his muscles, summoning his power to kill a lion, catch three hundred foxes, and carry off massive city gates. Such endeavors are accomplished by other humans with enough practice and strategy. Yet, such feeble feats seemed to please Samson.
In his defense, Samson had moments of brilliance. However, his passion was his downfall. I questioned his uncontrolled physical desires and untamed anger. With great power comes great responsibility. Yet, Samson wielded it with reckless abandon.
As guardian angels, we work with our assignments. If they ask or seek our help through prayer, we assist however we can to safeguard them. However, should they resist our influence, we are not to interfere or alter the course of human free will.
Samson ignored my persistent nudges away from unquestioned, undesirable, and undestined interactions. He relentlessly chased his incorrigible pursuit of hedonism. Not once did he resist distraction by attraction. Whatever pretty face crossed his path turned his heart.
Initially, he toyed with his enemies. His God-given strength fueled his self-confidence. However, instead of aiming his energy toward victory, he frittered it away. This strategy is completely foreign to me. See, I know the enemy is deceptively strategic and destructively powerful. Halfhearted attempts in battle are pointless. There is no room for arrogance or any undisciplined approach. The battle plan is straightforward. Fulfill your potential—plunge forward in the might and power of God Almighty.
But Samson consistently challenged this spiritual battle plan. I watched in frustrated sadness as he wasted not only his strength and responsibility but also the opportunities God offered him. Humans have an appropriate adage: “Coulda, shoulda, woulda.” Samson could have done so much more. He should have been so much more successful. Would have been far more effective. If only…
I stood helpless, sword at my side, as he divulged the secret of his strength to his nemesis, Delilah. She was one smooth-talker. My shouted warnings simply ricocheted in the spiritual realm. Samson chose to remain in the physical, laying his head on her lap to sleep. She hypnotically massaged his head, then gently shaved it. My attempts to rouse him only rocked him deeper into sleep. I froze at the sight of God’s Spirit slowly departing from him, equalizing him to any other human.
I was losing him—actually had been for years. But I was powerless against his free will. Samson’s lifelong poor choices tied my hands long before his were bound.
I felt constrained as angry brutes chained him. My world darkened the moment they blinded him. I could only watch as men Samson should have defeated led away Israel’s God-ordained deliverer. If only he would have called for me…but it was too late for that now. He sealed his fate by his squandered life.
My assignment was not a total failure. In the end, Samson came to his senses and reconciled with God long enough to be strengthened for one last victory. Yes, I helped Samson topple the pillars that brought down the building killing thousands. But he died in disgrace with his enemies.
Before vanishing toward my next assignment, I hovered above the scene briefly, wondering how differently things could have been. If only…
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on natestevens.net.
Featured Image by Julian Hanslmaier