Thursday, March 4, 2010

Faithful Hannah

Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 1-3; Luke 17:20-37

Yesterday we read the wonderful story of Ruth. Today we turn to another faithful woman, Hannah. Hannah was childless, and yearned more than anything to have a child. She wanted a child so desperately that she promised to give him completely to the Lord, if she was so blessed. God granted her wish, and Hannah faithfully gave Samuel to the Lord’s work. She tells Eli the Priest, “I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:27-28 NIV). What would this mean for Hannah? This would mean that young Samuel would live his life in the temple. Hannah would miss seeing him grow and develop, because he, instead, would be under the care of the Priest Eli. What a sacrifice Hannah made! I’m sure it would have been so easy to take back her promise when she found out she was actually pregnant. But she stayed true to her promise and gave up Samuel for the Lord’s work. And what a gift she gave! Samuel grew up to be a great prophet who mentored King Saul and King David. For Hannah’s faithfulness, the Bible tells us that she was given three more sons and two more daughters (1 Samuel 2:21). This was her blessing for remaining faithful.
I wonder if I could be so faithful in my own life. Do I always live up to the promises and vows I make? Am I someone to be counted on during the hard times? I’d like to say that I am, but I’m sure I’ve broken a promise here and there, making the excuse that it seemed too difficult to follow through. But I’m sure Hannah’s promise was difficult. I’m sure her arms longed to hold Samuel for the rest of her life. She was faithful, so I, too, should be faithful when it comes to the promises I make, big and small.
Lord, help me to be more like Hannah, who was faithful to you most of all. Help me to be someone who can be trusted, both by you and by the world around me.

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