Now we’ve met Samuel. Answered prayer personified! You will recall how desperately Hannah had wanted a son. While we saw the side of her who was feeling inadequate and hurt from the bullying, she was probably also feeling the emptiness that can come when God doesn’t give a woman a child. Those feeling are deep.
Can you imagine her joy when she realized God had heard her prayer and answered it! Think of a time in your life when you turned around and God granted a desire of your heart. It could be as simple as an open parking space at the mall! Multiply that almost insignificant moment with giving life to a child, and you may be able to relate to Hannah’s joy!
Never did she falter on her promise. Truth be told, I’m sure her heart was breaking at leaving her child behind. But God would fill her heart to overflowing knowing that she had kept her vow. Her son would belong to God.
Isn’t that every Christian parent’s dream for their child. That they follow God and live for Jesus? That may be. We all want the best for our children or those we love as our own. But in the culture I grew up in, it wasn’t common practice to take children at a young age and leave them with a priest to be servants of God. Wrapping my head around that whole scenario is tricky when it is not part of my culture. Would you agree?
For us, I could look to baptism as being our way of “dedicating” our children to the Lord. Growing up as pastor’s kids was hard for our children. I’m sure it was a different experience for each one of them. We did our best to shield them from the “fishbowl life.” However, you really can’t escape the fishbowl too easily, and sadly some of the “behind-the-scenes” realities of pastoral life are not pretty. At all.
Yet, living a life devoted to God is what we want for our children. I remember working with a young woman from India. She had recently given her life to Jesus and was hungry for God’s word. She would read and reflect for hours at a time. I was a little bit jealous that she had that much time on her hands, not to mention the intensity of her “hunger” for more truth. She was coming to me for Christian mentorship, but she was mentoring me!
I look at Hannah and see a devout believer. Ponder these questions today:
“Am I as devout as Hannah?”
“What could I be doing to be more present and open to God’s leading?”
“What am I ready to sacrifice for God today?”
Let’s pray …
Lord, I am encouraged by Hannah’s faithfulness to you in keeping her vow. I am blessed by your faithfulness in hearing Hannah’s cry and answering her prayer. It was your plan to use Samuel in some amazing ways, and it all started with Hannah’s cry to you. Lord, I want to be true to my word with you and others. Help me be more confident in asking you for the desires of my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.