Hannah left her only child, the little son she had prayed for so passionately, at the temple to work in service to God.
What a hard decision.
She would only get to see him once a year when they traveled to the temple for worship. Yet, she had prayed and made a vow to God. If God would give her a son, then she would give him back to God.
Eli the priest noticed her bold and courageous move. Her act did not go unnoticed by God, either.
God blessed Hannah with five more children, three sons and two daughters.
I’m sure none of those children took the place of Samuel in her mother’s heart, but they would have brought their own happiness to Hannah’s life. And, kept her busy too.
When we’re gutsy in our prayers, God responds generously.
We’ve learned when we pray boldly we:
- leave things to God rather than taking matters into our own hands.
- come to him baring all and lay before him the mess of our lives.
- promise to trust in him whatever the outcome to our pleas.
So when we pray courageously, we can be sure God responds by pouring out his blessing and lavishing his love on us.
I’m reminded of a situation in my own life when I had to leave a worrisome matter with God. I learned how generous God is when we’re transparent with and trust in him.
Our move to America from England, took us far away from family and friends. My heart broke.
I mourned what I had lost. I wanted my mom and dad to see my children growing up, and to share in their lives. I missed out on family parties. I longed to have what my siblings had, whose children got to have sleepovers with their grandparents.
Often I thought about packing my bags and going home. Yet, I knew God wanted us to stay put.
So, like Hannah, I brought my misery to God.
One thing concerned me in particular. What if my mother or father became sick, or were in an accident, and I couldn’t get to be back with them? I frequently came to God with this question.
Then one day my fear became a reality. I received a call, my mother had only a few weeks to live. She had been diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma some months earlier.
I had a hard decision to make. Should I get on a plane right away? I had three children to look after. Should I wait? I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to say goodbye.
Eventually, my husband and I made a plan, one we hoped would be best. We waited a couple of weeks and then I boarded a plane for England for ten days.
During those days, my mother rapidly deteriorated. I began by cooking her meals, and walking with her as my brother pushed her wheelchair around the neighborhood. When she could no longer eat, or get out of bed, I would encourage her to take a sip of tea and tidy her bed covers.
I dreaded the moment I had to leave. I sat on her bed fighting back the tears.
My mom struggled to sit up. “I want to stand up and give you a hug,” she said. Thin legs hung over the side of the bed. I clutched her waist and lifted her from the bed. There we stood in an awkward hug. I choked out the words: “I love you.”
“I love you,” she said in return.
In that moment, I received a blessing beyond my wildest dreams.
I knew my mother loved me, but I’d never heard her say those three words. It was always “sending you lots of love, or “love to the family.” Her final words to me were “I love you.”
I boarded my plane with swollen, red eyes but with a heart bursting with thankfulness.
The next morning I received a call. My mother had gone to be with her Savior.
In your greatest fear and agony, when you’re bold enough to trust in him, God will come through for you. He will be generous with you, beyond what you can imagine.