“For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD….” 1 Samuel 1:27-28a KJV
In the first two chapters of the first book of Samuel, we meet Hannah, the mother of Samuel. This woman was barren for many years, and if that wasn’t bad enough (since being barren was considered a curse), her husband’s other wife was always taunting her & throwing it in her face, because his other wife had given him children.
Hannah finally could take no more. She so longed to be a mom!!! When it came time for the yearly sacrifice, Hannah traveled with the rest of the family to the temple of God, where she wept bitterly outside the tent, before the Lord, about her plight. She promised God that if He gave her a son, she’d give him back to the Lord. God heard her & she finally conceived Samuel. Once he was weaned after a few short years, she brought Samuel to the temple to stay there & serve the Lord. Thereafter, she only saw him once a year & always brought him a new robe she’d made for him.
God blessed her with more children thereafter, I believe, for trusting Him & keeping her word, but also for her attitude when it came time to give him up.
How many of us have said, “God, if you would only do this, I promise that I will, in turn, do that,” & then, when the time comes, for one reason or another, we don’t follow through? That’s not to condemn anyone, but most of us have done that at some point: Cried out to Him in our desperation, desiring something—so desperate we’d give anything to have it! Can you imagine having a son until he’s pre-school to school age, and then only seeing him once a year for the rest of your life? Yet that’s what Hannah did.
Hannah was a woman of her word. Trust me: It couldn’t have been easy for her to give him back to God, even though she knew he’d be in good hands—or would he? Was she aware of the priest, Eli’s son’s ungodly behaviors? And yet this is who her son would be mentored by. So not only was she good to her word, but she trusted God.
Even more so, when Hannah gave up her son, she praised God for giving him to her and the time that she had with him, instead of begging for a little more time.
After Hannah kept her word and praised God, God blessed her with more children.
How much we can learn from Hannah! She was a woman of her word. She kept it no matter how painful it must have been to do so, and instead of wallowing in self-pity for having to part with her son, she praised God for him.
As we seek to be godly mothers, may we be like Hannah, trusting God fully with our children & keeping our word no matter what the sacrifice.