Have you ever prayed for something for a very long time and then had to give it up shortly after you received it? Something similar happened to a woman in the Bible named Hannah. She was the wife of a man named Elkanah, she loved her husband, but longed for a child. To make matters worse, Penninah, Elkanah's other wife tormented poor Hannah while cradling her own babies. She teased her so, but maybe she was also jealous. You see Elkanah loved Hannah more and she was probably his first wife. So, when they visited the temple every year, Elkanah always gave Hannah the best portion even though she had no children, while Penninah received second best.
After many years of this, Hannah was at her end. She could no longer bear the sorrow of being childless and the meanness of the other woman. At what should have been a joyful feast, she refused food and could do nothing but weep. Her husband confronts her and doesn't understand why she can't just be happy with him, why does she need a child?
After the feast, Hannah goes to pray fervently, thinking she is by herself.
"She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head. 12 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman." 1 Samuel 1:10-13
Then comes the biggest blow, - while pouring her soul out to God, the priest sees her and thinks she is drunk! Now, most of us would not blame Hannah for being angry at Eli, but instead, she denies that she has drunk anything and then explains why she is so heartbroken. Eli blesses her request before God, and this gives Hannah some peace about her situation because the Bible tells us that she went and ate and was no longer sad.
In the morning she rises and worships the Lord before they leave for home. In time, Hannah does become pregnant and has a son, whom she names Samuel which means "asked of the Lord." Hannah cherished her time with her son for she knew that once weaned she would fulfill her vow and take her young child to the temple to live forever.
Now, it must have been tempting to keep her long-awaited child to raise herself. But, Hannah was faithful and knew what she must do. She keeps her vow and once Samuel was weaned gave God her first-born son. He was taken to live at the temple and be in service to God for all his days. Hannah- a loving and caring mom, visited him every year and goes on to be blessed with five more children.
As moms, we can too easily forget that our children do not really belong to us, but they belong to God. While we have the blessing of being their moms, God already has big plans for them and our job as moms is to point them to His love and truth. Like Hannah, we can trust God with our children and His plan for them!