I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life. 1 Samuel 1:11.
Elkanah, a Levite of Mount Ephraim, was a man of wealth and influence, and one who loved and feared the Lord. His wife, Hannah, was a woman of fervent piety. Gentle and unassuming, her character was marked with deep earnestness and a lofty faith.The blessing so earnestly sought by every Hebrew was denied this godly pair; their home was not gladdened by the voice of childhood; and the desire to perpetuate his name led the husband—as it had led many others—to contract a second marriage. But this step, prompted by a lack of faith in God, did not bring happiness. Sons and daughters were added to the household; but the joy and beauty of God’s sacred institution had been marred and the peace of the family was broken. Peninnah, the new wife, was jealous and narrow-minded, and she bore herself with pride and insolence. To Hannah, hope seemed crushed and life a weary burden; yet she met the trial with uncomplaining meekness….The burden which she could share with no earthly friend she cast upon God. Earnestly she pleaded that He would take away her reproach and grant her the precious gift of a son to nurture and train for Him. And she made a solemn vow that if her request were granted, she would dedicate her child to God, even from its birth….Hannah’s prayer was granted; she received the gift for which she had so earnestly entreated. As she looked upon the child, she called him Samuel—“asked of God.”
As soon as the little one was old enough to be separated from its mother, she fulfilled her solemn vow. She loved her child with all the devotion of a mother’s heart; day by day her affections entwined about him more closely as she watched his expanding powers, and listened to the childish prattle; he was her only son, the especial gift of heaven; but she had received him as a treasure consecrated to God, and she would not withhold from the Giver His own. Faith strengthened the mother’s heart, and she yielded not to the pleadings of natural affection.
Conflict and Courage p. 137
—–Please pray for Carol and her family as her mother died yesterday. Rose
When Ronnie Jay was still going to Union College, he bought three hamsters. He and his friends had so much fun watching them running on their exercise wheel. The three creatures would often try to run on it at the same time—-sometimes in the opposite direction! This would cause one or more to be slung out of the wheel. Whereupon that little creature would jump right back on and begin the process all over again.
How often we feel as if we are like those hamsters—always busy but accomplishing nothing. When we fail to keep the connection with the Great King of the Universe, we feel like a hamster on a giant exercise wheel—ever running but getting nowhere. How many times we can get ourselves into circumstances where there seems to be no way out, no future. How it must break our Great Redeemer’s heart to see us struggling futilely in our own strength, when He is there to help us disentangle ourselves from the mess we have gotten ourselves into, to deliver us out of the cage we are in. All we need to do is ask Him. He assures us, “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matt 7:7,8 When we cry unto the Lord in our trouble, He will save us out of all of our distresses. He will deliver us from the exercise wheel of life and open a plain path of escape before our feet for He is faithful Who has promised, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Ps 32:8
How important then, that we” pray without ceasing.” 1 Thes 5:17 How vital that we keep in touch with our Dear Saviour moment by moment. When He was upon this earth, our Loving Redeemer felt the need for His Father’s guidance. Indeed, He often spent all night in earnest prayer with strong crying and tears. Heb 5:7 That very same Jesus is yearning for us to earnestly desire to get off life’s exercise wheel and pray to Him for the guidance and strength that He so freely offers.
May we listen to His pleading voice bidding us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matt 11:28, 29