1 Samuel 1: v 5 … But God had restrained Hannah’s womb. v 11 And (Hannah) made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on 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 …
It seemed that the one thing Hannah wanted more than anything was to be a mother. She prayed and prayed hoping that God would respond to her and grant her the desire of her heart. Her husband felt her sorrow but nothing he did could take away her pain. Hannah chose to believe and trust God and in the fullness of time, God remembered Hannah and gave her a son. She called him Samuel which is said to mean “God hears”. When Samuel was old enough, Hannah made good on her promise and took him to the priest Eli for him to be trained in the way of the Lord.
God had a plan for Samuel’s life. If he had been born in another time and another place, perhaps the sequence of events would have been different. It was Samuel that God chose to reveal Himself to and to give confirmation of His word spoken to Eli in 1 Sam 2:27-36.
Lot’s family ended up one short because his wife chose not to give up that which would cause her undoing.(Gen 19:26) Peter was walking fine on water until He chose to look away from the source of his hope (St Matthew 14:30) . David fell for Bathsheba because he didn’t take his eyes off what was not his (2 Sam 11:2-5). What is the focus of your attention? What do you spend all day looking at?
Sometimes my focus is not at the place where I should leave well alone and trust Him. Sometimes I want the answers now and I push and push with all I have but the door remains closed. At times when I pray it feels like my prayers hit the ceiling and fall back on my head. It seems God does not always answer my prayers (at least not the way I want Him to) . God’s timing is perfect … it may not match up with our dreams and ideals but His timing is perfect. As hard as it is sometimes, the best thing to do is to leave it all to Him. The pieces of the puzzle will fall into place the way He intended them.
If you are praying Hannah’s prayer today (literally or figuratively), do take hope in the following:
1. It was God who restrained Hannah’s womb … Hannah had done nothing wrong. You may be seeking God for something He has kept out of your way. You are not being punished. God will bring your deliverance “in the fullness of time.”
2. Hannah kept her eyes on God. Peninnah mocked and jeered her but Hannah chose to stay focused on her Deliverer. When issues knock you off your feet, your recovery is dependent on where you draw strength from. Keep your eyes on Him!
3. God chose to reveal Himself to someone who was able and available… Samuel fit the bill. He was in the right time at the right place. Sometimes God delays His response to get you in the right position. Trust His hand.
4. Samuel had a praying mother … If you can’t do this alone; find someone to help you pray through. There is strength in unity. Pride may tell you to keep your secrets to yourself. Wisdom says to find someone trustworthy to help lift you up in prayer.
5. God’s timing may not work along with your life-plan … scrap yours and take on His. If you have asked Him to order your steps, be ready to receive His direction.
6. God is aware of our hurts and pains. He has not forgotten us. Hannah lived in pain and sorrow until God gave her a breakthrough. Throughout the process, she chose to trust Him. At the end of it all, He gave her a reason to praise. Your garment of praise awaits you!
Father, I confess that I don’t get life. I don’t always understand why others prosper when those who trust in You seem to only suffer and suffer long. I’ve tried to steer my own ship and each time I run aground I call on You and You are always there to gently guide me back on track. You have shown me through Your word that Your timing is all that matters so I have decided to wait on You for my garment of praise. While I wait, I will trust You, I will listen to You, I will walk in Your footsteps. I will not allow anything to cause me to lose sight of my destiny. Teach me how to truly wait upon You knowing that You only have good things in store for me.
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