Friday, May 3, 2013

A Mother Worthy of Honor

Our third mother in the line of mothers we are honoring is another lady in Scripture.  Her name means "grace" or "favor..He has favored me".  


For those not familiar with her story, you can read it in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel 1 & 2.  I've always been inspired reading about Hannah.  A woman who lived in anguish every day, hoping, wanting and being taunted because she could not have what most other women around her had.  A child.  Two other women in Scripture also grieved over not having children.  Sarah and Rachel.  But unlike them, Hannah didn't take matters into her own hands....she took her anguish and sorrow directly to God.   Even in the place of prayer, she was misunderstood (1 Samuel 1:12-16).  Despite this, her place of comfort and consolation was on her knees and on her face before God.  When Eli speaks a blessing over her, she leaves her place of sacrifice "her face no longer being downcast".    Scripture doesn't say she want away confident she would have a child, but that she was comforted.   

Who else can give a woman (or a mother) the comfort she needs in times of deep pain and anguish.  In times of desperate wanting.  In times when we feel there is not a soul on earth who can identify with our pain, or our longing?  No human can give us what we husband, no friend, no false comfort, only the Father who knows, sees and understands all.  Sometimes, I feel like us moms carry the burden of those we love and have cared for so deeply, far deeper and heavier than any burden we have ever experienced.  When those we love, hurt.....we hurt.  When those we brought into life cry deeply, we cry deeper still.  I think there is a large portion of our heart implanted in their hearts.  That will never change.  Hannah inspires me.....she knew where to go for her comfort.

And amidst the ongoing days of our lives, God shows up.  Maybe not always in the way we wished, but He does show up.  When Hannah finally bore that son she desperately hoped for, she had words of praise that echoed down through history, so far down that Mary the mother of Jesus poured them forth from her soul as well (1 Samuel 2 and Luke 1:46-55).  We join the multitudes of women and mothers through the centuries as we praise Him for showing up.  

And then, she gave her son to God.  She didn't hang onto her blessing selfishly, she did what she had promised.  Her son, Samuel, would belong to God all the days of his life.  Once she had weaned him, she took him to the priest, Eli, and he lived and served Eli and God as a boy.  He grew up in a place of serving, worship and sacrifice.  He was the last of the judges of Israel and he anointed the first two kings, Saul and David.  Samuel, the much wanted and prayed for son of Hannah, lived out God's purpose for his life because of a mother who loved him deeply, but loved God deeper still.  A woman of faith....a woman of prayer....a women of obedience.  And God gave her more children (1 Samuel 2:20-21).   

Hannah is not a woman of faith because she bore a son.  She is a woman of faith because she sought God.  She trusted God.  In her deepest distress.  Only HE could answer.  Only HE could bring the consolation and purpose in life she desperately prayed for day and night.  And HE had far bigger plans for her son than she could have even imagined.  

Hannah, a woman of faith, a mom of prayer, a woman of obedience, a mom who loved and cared for her son from afar.  And a mom we honor today, nearly 3,200 years later, her faith, her trust, her obedience, her prayer life....still speaks.  Thank you, Hannah. 


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