Monday, March 27, 2017

"His Hannah" - 03/26/17 - 1 Samuel 1-3

I am greatly ashamed for the many times throughout the years when I have read about Hannah, the sacrifices she made, and did not recognize her as the strong and great woman of God she was sooner than I did.
One of the many great blessings of rereading His Word each year is how He has helped me in "getting to know" those I had often "skimmed" over and come to know them as part of my lineage. I so wish I could have spent time with her, to know more about her. There is so much I have been taught through The Scriptures, I can only imagine how much I would learn if able to have shared life with her face to face.
The blessings we receive from the little we do read are amazing.
She first captured my heart with whom she turned to in her pain - God.
She never turned inside and lashed out at the injustice she endured. To live as a barren woman in those days was one of the greatest types of shame. She was looked at as a complete failure. And yet, how her husband, Elkanah, loved her.
Her first great love though - is God.
"Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk." (1:13) "The only thing I've been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to God."(1:15)
How often do we pray to God in such a way? Do we take the privilege of prayer for granted? How often does it look to God as though we are drunk - because we are pouring our heart out to Him. How often do we hold back bits and pieces feeling He won't like, won't accept, won't find important or won't change? How often do we forget He desires to hear the all of our heart from our lips. How often do we forget, He already knows all there is to know about "us".
I look upon her with great admiration and respect.
She loved God so much that she vowed to give Him back her son if she were to be blessed with one. And she did. Jewish children were usually five years old when they were weaned. This is probably how old Samuel was when they left him with Eli the priest - to live.
I look upon her with great admiration and respect.
When I picture the separation, I don't see Samuel smiling and waving bye bye. I envision tears and fear as he stood beside a man, Eli, whom he did not know. I envision a little boy watching his mommy and daddy leaving him.
Could I have done this? We lost two babies which I think is one reason I have hung on and cherished Adam and Nichalas so much. But, at times I have been very guilty in placing a burden upon them by placing my worth in being their mom, in loving them more than God.
Hannah left with a song -
"Hannah prayed: I'm bursting with God-news! I'm walking on air.
I'm laughing at my rivals. I'm dancing my salvation. Nothing and no one is holy like God.....(2:1-10)
The boy Samuel stayed at the sanctuary and grew up with God.(2:11)
Hannah left with a song.
I look upon her with great admiration and respect.
A child's character and personality are "formed" by the time they are five. It says so much about Hannah as a mommy in the man whom Samuel grew up to be. We only know for sure she saw him once a year when they went to make sacrifice, no other time is written about. God blessed her with other children, but none can take the place of the other. We know that Samuel lived in Ramah when he was older, I like to assume that he was spending time with his family.
I gain much wisdom and strength from Hannah.
When Adam was living in Liverpool, NY and now with Nichalas and Amber in Phoenix, I draw comfort in Hannah's focus. It was totally on God. She didn't fall into a pity party for not being able to spend more years with Samuel - she was thankful for the time she had. She didn't keep count - she just drank in the days she was given. She turned to God in her great pain and drew strength and comfort from Him. By doing that - she had peace and joy.
Joy in a situation where I would be in tears. I pray I may be the mommy Hannah was. I pray our children Adam and Ashley, Nichalas and Amber, Charlie, Ella, and other future grandchildren and all generations to come will be known as Samuel was:
"Samuel grew up. God was with him...Everyone...recognized that Samuel was the real thing—a true "child" of God."(3:19-21)
I also pray I shall do my part as His child, following after Hannah in the lives I touch, for "in" Christ, we are all priest.
"I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house and he will walk before My anointed always."(2:35)
And from Hannah, she has taught me how to have a song in my heart.....for always.

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