By Jennie Heberg/Guest Columnist
The Picayune Item
As I sit here drinking my 2nd cup of Hazelnut coffee my sweet husband and son blessed me with on my birthday a few weeks ago, I’m reminded of Hannah, the mother of Samuel.
In reading I Samuel 1:1-8 and 10, we see the story behind Hannah’s pain and desire. I say her pain because in her life, although greatly loved by her husband, she had a great yearning for a child. As we’ll see in these few verses, her husband walked in his proper place as the spiritual leader of his household just as God had commanded. He prayed regularly for the love of his life, Hannah, to be blessed her with a double portion. He loved her greatly. His love, written of here, lets us know that he was very tender with her but really didn’t understand why a child meant so much to her. He did not know why he wasn’t enough to fill her desires.
Some things that come to mind about the character of Hannah are: Her love for the Lord; her great desire to become a Mom; and her willingness to offer her very best to God for the benefit of others.
Let’s read the next little bit of the story together.
In verse 11: “Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life and his hair will never be cut.”
The reason for the hair not being cut is part of the Nazarite vow.
As she continued to pray in the secret place of the Temple and not to draw any attention to herself, the priest noticed her and misjudged her thinking she was drunk. She responded to him with the reason of her being there in verses 15-16:
‘I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
Wow, would you look at that! She openly admitted to the Priest that she resented that the Lord had not given her the greatest desire in her heart. How many of us actually will admit this to ourselves, let alone to the Priest or Pastor? Yet, in the next verse (17) he spoke a blessing upon her stating: “May the God of Israel grant the petition you’ve requested from Him.” He didn’t even know what she had petitioned of the Lord. Upon leaving, she was filled with faith that God had heard her cry and it was deeply settled in her heart. As you read along in the rest of the chapter you’ll see that God did grant her the request she placed at His feet; she, in return, fulfilled her vow.
Look in verse 27, where she says, “I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” What an awesome sacrifice for her to give her son to the Priest to be raised in the Temple.
As time passed, Hannah and her family annually made trips to the Temple to sacrifice to and worship the Lord. They brought gifts to Samuel, and received blessings from the Priest Eli. Hannah received three more sons and two daughters from the Lord as Samuel continued living in the Lord’s Temple, living his life in service to God. The Lord, as a result of Hannah’s desire, prayer, faith and the fulfillment of her vow, blessed many through Samuel.
All this year we’ve focused on the scripture, Luke 1:37, where the Angel of the Lord appeared to Mary and replied in part to her question “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?” by saying “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
In this account of Hannah’s answered prayers, we can see that she firmly believed this response from the Lord’s Angel. She believed that there was nothing impossible with God. In her petition and obedience we see the fact that what you make happen for others God will make happen for you! You’ll have everything God has created for you to have and everything God has created for you to be. Being a Mom was the greatest desire Hannah held in her heart next to her love for her God and her husband. Upon her obedience He gave not one child but five more after Samuel.
What has called you to petition Him for? What has called you to be sacrificed to Him to bless others and to walk in as a witness and testament to His abundant grace?
Seek Him, love Him, and see His hand of blessing. It will touch not just your life, but all those you touch that you may not even know about.
Local resident, Jennie Heberg, wife to the Rev. Carl Heberg, homeschools her soon-to-be 8th grade son; manages one blog; two web sites; and is co-evangelist with her husband in Hand of Hope Ministries.
Recently she and her son have become volunteers, twice weekly, with Manna Ministries. They are being rewarded richly as they reach out in ways not afforded online.
Her blog site is www.jewelsfromjennie.org. Her shared family ministry web site address is: www.handofhopeministries.com. She welcomes everyone to check out her family's local ministries.
Attending a weekly Bible study with a wonderful ecumenical group of lovely ladies who are so dedicated to following the Lord's Word has inspired. Some of these women share their stories at www.jesusislordoverpicayunems.blogspot.com. As you read the selection posted, you'll see stories from those who have also made Picayune home.