"Hannah - whom I draw Strength from" - 04/09/13 - 1 Samuel 1:9-4:11
What a woman of faith. Of love for her Abba. Of love for her child.
A true mommy who presented him before God and left him at the temple because that was what was best for her child. She wanted him to be with God, even if it meant sacrificing her time to a once a year visit. Aside from this yearly visit, scripture doesn't say if other visits occurred. Regardless if they did or not, Samuel was not with her in their home. She wasn't there to receive the day to day blessings of being a mommy. She didn't get to experience all the "firsts" in his life. She wasn't able to tuck him into bed, brush his hair from his eyes as he excitedly shared something about life. His skinned up knees weren't there for her to kiss, to hold Samuel in comfort as he cried in pain. She wasn't there on those nights when they lay so far apart in the dark. Samuel, a small child, three to five years old, laying there alone in the dark, crying for his mommy. Hannah, lying there in the dark, aching for her child, the child she begged God for.
The child she gave back to God.
Because of her great love for God.
Her love for God that surpassed any other loves she had - even that for her Samuel.
Does my love for God surpass any other loves that I have? Am I selfish with my loves? Are my loves really about my needs, my wants, my desires? Do I make my loves my god?
I used to.
My loves, which I made into my god were my Adam and Nichalas. They were who I got my worth from, filled my voids, who I sacrificed to. My putting them above every other love was damaging all my other relationships, particularly with God and Curt. I put them into a position that they weren't able to handle. I think about how my worshiping them was so destructive. I honestly thought my worshiping them with so much love and honor would build them up, make them more of the men God designed them to be. It didn't. They weren't designed to fill my voids. Only God can do that. I was only adding pressure to them.
God in His awesomeness changed me, changed my heart to fall "in" love with Him and put Him as my first love. In my heart change, I gave my sons over to Him. They really weren't mine to begin with. God has blessed me with the gift of them and I realized for them to become the men God designed them to be - I had to step back. They had to walk on their own "in" God. I had to sacrifice them to Him.
Yes, there has been pain in my heart putting them in their rightful place. I draw strength in the example of Hannah and her great faith. Even before she knew God had blessed her with a child, "Then she ate heartily, her face radiant." (1:18) She had absolute faith that God, as her first love, would take care of her - no matter His decision. I draw strength in her giving up her Samuel to Eli, a stranger that didn't even recognize her when she came back to leave Samuel. Her strength in God - that He would take care of the gift she was giving back to Him.
I draw strength from her in giving up my loves
that I have put above my love for God.