Have you ever wanted something so bad that you prayed so hard people thought you were drunk? That’s what happened to Hannah in 1 Samuel. She couldn’t have had a very happy life. We know that the other wife picked on her so bad she became distraught and cried. Thankfully, her husband loved her. In fact, he was upset that she thought she had to have children to earn his love. She wanted a child so badly that she promised to give him back to the Lord. How hard that must have been for her. She has a son and knows she must fulfill her promise to the Lord. She does and God blesses her with more children. This story has always been special to me. I’ve always admired Hannah’s devotion to the Lord and her willingness to follow through even when it was difficult to do so. With my Wed. night Bible study we’ve been going through the OT (I think I’ve mentioned this…) and we just recently read the story of Hannah. I read it in a different light this time. Though I don’t have another wife hen-pecking me, and I’m not miserable, I am without a child. It’s been difficult. I have to pray daily that bitterness doesn’t set into my heart. I have been slammed in the face with the fact/idea/whatever that maybe I haven’t been praying earnestly enough for a child. I know that our society is way different then Hannah’s was, and I can’t say that I CAN give my child to a church when he/she is a year old, but there are other ways to give my child/children to the Lord. I can give them to Him on a daily basis, trusting Him to take care of them. I can give them to Him by knowing that wherever the Lord takes them (be it around the world or just in the US) that I let them go w/out making them feel guilty for leaving. I remember my mom saying that she did this (and probably still does). I never felt guilty for doing what I knew the Lord wanted me to do (and it’s the same today). I never felt that my mom didn’t want me to go just to stay with her for selfish reasons. I know it wasn’t easy for my mom to let me go, but I also know she knew I had to do the Lord’s will. What can we learn from Hannah from 1000s of years ago? Well, I can learn that I need to pray more earnestly–right now about having a child, but really, with anything in life. I can also learn that when/if the Lord does answer me with a yes, I have to remember that this blessing is from HIM and not due to anything I have done. I have to remember that it belongs to HIM and I have to be willing to let it/him/her go if that’s what he asks. Is it easy to do? No, but I have learned in my 30 years that doing what GOD wants is FAR better then doing what I want. Not always the easiest road, but always the best road.
May you be encouraged today to pray earnestly for the things you want/need/desire. Scripture promises to give us the desire of our hearts (in Psalms), and in James it also warns that our prayers aren’t answered because we ask with the wrong motives/desires. It’s such a balancing act…Be encouraged though, that our Lord DOES hear our prayers and answers them according to what’s best for us! Remember Hannah today. Read her story, it’s not very long and is at the beginning of 1 Samuel. She has a lot to teach us about surviving under difficult situations and seeking/praying earnestly to the Lord for the desires of our heart.