A Mother and her Promise

First off, I want to start off with farming.  Those who know me fairly well know I won’t have much to say about it since I know just a little more about farming than I do nuclear science.

One thing I know is farmers need water.  Not too much since floods are bad and not too little since droughts are bad too.  If I were a farmer, I’d surely pray for rain.  There is a catch.  If a farmer doesn’t tend to his farm chores, it won’t matter if it rains or not.  Crops don’t plant themselves.  That’s a lesson I take from farming.  I do my part while trusting the Lord to do His.

There was a woman in the Bible by the name of Hannah who had a heavy burden on her heart.  She was one of two wives to a man named Elknah   She had no children while the other wife did.  She lived in a society that frowned on women who did not give birth.  Her husband, who loved her dearly, could not understand Hannah’s sadness.  He said, to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?”  Not that I would know being an unmarried, but my married friends have often said to me, “My spouse just doesn’t understand….”  I guess that’s as old a problem as marriage itself.  

Perhaps Hannah was in what we call a depressed state.  The Bible describes her as being “in bitterness of soul”.  Instead of sinking further into depression, she turned to the Lord in prayer at the temple.  She sorely wept while telling the Lord her petition from her aching heart.  She asked for a child and she wanted a boy.  She went a step further by making a promise that if the Lord blessed her with a son, she would give her son back into the Lord all the days of his life.  

Hannah was mumbling this prayer to herself.  I relate to that because I often pray mumbling to myself.  I often do this while I take a walk in the park.  Once I got the attention of someone who asked me if I was okay.  I reckon it would look strange if I saw myself on video but it doesn’t matter.  I doubt that it did to Hannah because she was entirely focused on her prayer and not on who might be watching.

The priest Eli saw Hannah’s lips move without her voice and wondered if she was drunk.  He asked her as much and she told him the truth.  Eli was convinced and told her, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.”

Immediately Hannah felt much better and was longer sad.  Her faith had been restored and wasn’t surprised when she soon learned she was pregnant.  She wasn’t surprised either giving birth to a boy instead of a girl.  She named him Samuel, the name meaning he was asked for from the Lord.

Hannan did not forget her promise to return him to the Lord after the child was weaned.  She had waited so long for a child and now that she had one, she had to give him up.  Although I would imagine she got to visit, it wouldn’t be the same as having him under her roof.  But she had made a promise and did her part in fulfilling it.

Hannah had a part in something far bigger than herself.  She couldn’t have known that the child she asked for would grow up to one of the most well known prophets of the Bible.  She couldn’t have known that her story would be recorded in the scripture and her story told down through time.  Hannah wasn’t supposed to figure the big picture out.  She kept her promise and God did His.




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