Hannah, part 2

I am still considering Hannah.

I am amazed at Hannah’s resolve and testimony.

She longed for, desired, prayed for, yearned for a child. God heard and answered her prayer and vow.

Then she was able to do what she vowed to do – give Samuel to the Lord. Nowadays, it’s hard enough to dedicate our children to the Lord in front of the church, observe their baptism when they are older, guide and direct and train them to ‘serve the Lord’ in comfortable and close ways. It seems difficult when the time comes that they might leave to raise a family or become a missionary or go away.

Imagine sending them away when they’ve been weaned (3 or so?)! And then only going to see them once a year! Are they prepared for ministry? Have they become established and mature in the faith? No Way!

Now I’m not suggesting we send our three-year olds to a faraway location. But I want to have a heart of purpose for my children like Hannah. I want them to grow in the knowledge that we are preparing them to serve the Lord in whatever capacity that is. I want them to be consumed with loving a great God who works globally – eternally – sovereignly – powerfully as well as consumed with loving their family, neighbors, friends and enemies.

I imagine that serving the Lord won’t look the same way in every grown child. I think of Elizabeth Prentiss who served the Lord by honoring and staying with her mother. I think of John Paton who left his father on the side of the road hidden, praying and weeping, to go to dangerous, faraway places. Jim Eliot who never returned. John Newton who was a loving shepherd to the small congregations and the afflicted who lived with him. The faithful wife and mom who stays home and cares for her family. The single man who lives frugally and gives greatly for other families to adopt. The elderly woman who prays constantly. The pastor who preaches the Word in season and out.

Easy to say when my kiddos are 5 and 3. But I don’t think that Hannah put off thinking about Samuel’s service until that day she took him to Eli. I believe she prayed to God and prepared her own heart and Samuel’s heart every day for that time. I would imagine there were lots of tears and lonely times but Hannah trusted God and God is Faithful.

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