Hannah wanted a baby so much. Her years of longing bubbled up and out of control on one particular trip to Shiloh when she attended a festival of worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty. At that time in Israel’s history, Shiloh was where the Central Sanctuary and the Ark of the Covenant were located. This was holy ground for a holy celebration.
This was also the place and the time that…
In deep anguish [bitterness of soul] Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. – 1 Samuel 1:10
Hannah’s entire being – her head, heart, soul and body – cried out to her God, begging Him to hear and answer her prayers for a son. Hannah knew that only the Lord, as the Giver of Life, could give her a child. Hannah made a solemn vow in that holy place as she poured her whole self before her God. If God would give her a child, she would give her child – her future son – back to the Lord to serve Him all the days of his life. God heard and honored Hannah’s prayer. And Hannah honored her promise to the Lord.
And at just the right time, according to our God’s perfect plans and perfect timing, the Lord answered Hannah’s desperately longing prayers for a son.
She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the LORD for him.” – 1 Samuel 1:20
Samuel sounds very much like the Hebrew word for “heard of God.” Hannah knew that Samuel was the tangible, living proof that the Lord Almighty, the God she worshipped, truly is the God who hears. And Hannah bubbled up, once again, in thanksgiving, awe and praise to the Lord Almighty. To the God who hears, she proclaimed:
“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” – 1 Samuel 2:2
What’s your Samuel? What do you acknowledge and give thanks for in your life as tangible, living proof for how the Lord Almighty, the God who hears, has heard and answered you?
What’s your Samuel? Are you willing to hold your Samuel loosely – whether it is a person you love deeply or a goal you’ve attained – because you know that your Samuel came to you completely out of the unfailing love and perfect will of our Holy God?
What’s your Samuel? Are you willing to truly give your Samuel back to the Lord by trusting God and His ways completely with the ones you love and the sense of security that came with the goals you attained?
Whatever our Samuels may be, may we each trust the heart of our Holy God as our Samuels come into, and change, and go out of our lives – knowing full well that our Samuels have always belonged to our God who hears our hearts.