Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Letting Go and Letting God

Can you imagine wishing and praying for something for so long and then having to let go? I was reading the book of 1 Samuel and that is exactly what Hannah went through. For so long I read the story and focused solely on the fact that God blessed her with a child but I never really thought about how she had to let him go. Maybe I’m just now reading it through a mother’s lens but her perseverance, her grit, and total trust in God is fascinating. 

Let me stage the story for you…

Hannah and Peninnah were both wives to Elkanah. Peninnah blessed her husband with children, but Hannah was barren. Peninnah would provoke and irritate Hannah about this to the point of tears. It’s like straight out of the movie “Mean Girls” but Hannah had to face her daily with the taunting, the hurt, the pain and despair. I don’t know if Hannah ever retaliated, the Bible doesn’t say. You’d think a person could only handle so much, but I do know this, she took her pain to The Lord. 

1 Samuel 1:10 says, “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.” 

I’d like to think she constantly took the high road and moved her aggression to prayer but I’m not sure as the Bible doesn’t specify. Based on what I’ve read her misery was so deep even the priest Eli thought she might have been drunk. I picture a hesitant priest slowly walking up to her tapping her on the shoulder afraid of what her response to him would be. But it was only a woman in great anguish and grief releasing her troubles to the Lord. She tells Eli her story and he says, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.

Verse 11 goes on to say, “And she made a vow saying, ‘O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.” 

And that’s what happened, she made a vow to God. The next morning she woke up and worshipped before the Lord and went back to her home. 

And God did remember her and blessed her with a child. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 

I’m sorry but when I finished reading that portion of scripture all I could think about was Peninnah. Was she moping in a corner somewhere? Was she ashamed by her previous actions and words? Once again the Bible doesn’t make any of that clear. I guess it’s the female side of me that wants to exploit every detail. 

Anyhow, back to the story…it goes on to say that Hannah keeps Samuel at home and nursed him until she had weaned him. I’m not positive on what his age was at that time but I’m guessing maybe 1 1/2 - 2 years old. 

So imagine that. Hannah for so many years couldn’t bear children and then when she finally does she has him for a short period of time and then he’s gone. Hannah tells Eli in 1 Samuel 1:26-28, “As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. “  

Hannah was so grateful to the Lord for answering her prayer she saw it as a delight to give to the Lord what was His. Her heart rejoiced in the Lord. As a mother to three beautiful babies I have struggled with what seemed to come so naturally to Hannah, trust. But I am learning to place everyone I love so dearly in the palm of my hands and say Lord these people I love, you’ve entrusted them into my care, but at anytime you wish to take it away I can only trust you have a good reason for it. This is by far the most difficult prayer I’ve had to pray. 

By the way the Lord blessed Hannah with three more sons and two daughters. I’m sure every time Hannah and the family went to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord she stood a bit taller; proud to see Samuel growing in stature and in favor with the Lord. 

So I want to leave you with a few thoughts. Has God asked you to turn your most precious things or people over to him? A loved one? A financial concern? A personal right? If He has and you haven’t responded make it a point to take it to prayer and trust Him; He does know and see the big picture!

Do you have an overwhelming need? Are you bitterness in soul like Hannah? Does your need bring you great anguish? Follow Hannah’s response to a great big need that could only be answered by God. First, she took it to prayer and second, she worshipped him. She didn’t wait till her prayer was answered she worshipped Him regardless. May we all learn a lesson or two from Hannah on letting go and letting God. 

No comments:

Post a Comment