Today’s Thoughts – Hannah sacrificed everything that mattered
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 5, 2010
In bitterness of soul, Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head”…. She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. (1Samuel 1:10-11, 18)
Now before you dismiss this too easily, remind yourself of what Hannah believed, said, and acted upon here. After she has “wept much and prayed to the LORD,” she then “made a vow.” Through her prayer, Hannah gave herself completely over to the will of God. You find neither phrasing here nor any pat prayer pattern. She does not utter the spiritual mantra many of us use in our prayer of, “If it be your will, Lord.” It was through her sacrifice of prayer whereby she completely gave herself and her will over to God, that she knew the truth of what God’s will would be. Hannah would have to give up that which she longed for the most: her firstborn son.
There is no desperate bargaining here, as some might have you believe, with Hannah’s prayer. She had been about this way too long. If only God would “look upon” his “servant’s misery,” see her heart as it was and “not forget” his “servant but give her a son.” She would then be willing to do what God required of her all along. And this, I believe, is the heart of the truth of this passage. God had been working with Hannah over the years in order for her to understand what true sacrifice means. Sacrifice costs the believer dearly. It is not something you would have discarded anyway, it is not your second best, it is not your leftovers, nor is it anything that does not cost the person. Sacrifice is never done in haste and it is never easy. And here it cost Hannah everything. Hannah had finally reached a point whereby she was willing to sacrifice everything that mattered. This is where God could use Hannah. It is where he can use you as well.
Serving God, costs us dearly because it cost God his one and only son. Serving God costs us all that we are. It costs us our mind, will, and emotions. It costs us our time, talent, and treasurer. Sacrifice comes when we realize that we will be impoverished in some way by our conscious choice to follow God in complete trust. Hannah had come to understand this, and God answered her prayer. We see that “she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.”
Now, let me ask you something, dear child of the Lord, when was the last time you sincerely were willing to sacrifice it all for the Lord? This includes everything you have including your family – which all are required of the Lord in order to follow him (Matthew 4:21-22; 16:24; 19:21, 29; Luke 9:62; John 12:25-26). When was the last time you totally trusted God, did not flinch, and remained steady on the course he gave you until you were certain he had given you new marching orders? Or are you still trying to see God’s will for your life by second-guessing him? Hannah was willing to sacrifice everything that mattered, are you?
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission. You now have my permission…