God does these little things for me. I went to a friend's house last night to babysit their daughter while they went to a concert. When I babysit, I usually bring a few books from my house that might interest them (because I know that when I was little, I loved new things!). Anyway, one of the books I brought was a Bible story about Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Most people know who Samuel is in the Bible: the priest who anointed the first king of Israel, Saul. But a lot of people don't know about his mother, Hannah, who plays a great example in the Bible.
I had read a few other books to this little girl and then, when she was eating her bedtime snack, she asked if I could read this story to her. I started to read this child's version, and I realized how much I needed to hear that story. I've heard that book many many times since I was a little kid, but yesterday, I just really needed to hear it.
Hannah was one of two wives of Elkanah, a good man living in the land of Israel. The other wife had many children, and was very blessed. Hannah really had the desire to have children of her own, but she wasn't able to conceive. She went into a depression and didn't eat; she cried all the time. Her husband felt very sorry for her, because he loved her more than anyone in his family.
Every year, the family went to a town called Shiloh to worship God in the temple. One day, Hannah went into the temple alone to pray to God. She was really upset, and asked God to give her children. And if He granted her wish, she would give her firstborn back to God to serve Him. After she prayed, she was very much relieved and was able to eat again.
What do you know? She eventually had a baby boy and named him Samuel, which means "asked of God." A few years later, after she had weaned him, she remembered her promise to the Lord, and brought him back to Shiloh to live with the priest there. He grew up to be a man of God, and did tremendous works for the Lord. Hannah had other children, and visited Samuel every year at the temple.
How did this really hit me? I realized that every problem and distress that I have, I need to go to God first. I usually go to my parents or a friend first, and there is nothing wrong with that because God gave us those people for those things. But I realized that there is nothing that a human could do in comparison with what God can do. If Hannah had gone to the priest to tell her problems to, then she wouldn't have gotten anywhere. The priest couldn't open her womb! But God could.
This makes me also marvel at how personal God is. He *hears* our prayers. He doesn't have a mail service that delivers our request; there are no priests that have to be trained to make known our requests to God. We don't have to travel to a church or monastery in order to pray. (I suspect that Hannah went to the temple so that she would have some peace and quiet in which to talk to God.) Anywhere we are, no matter what we are doing, no matter how we say it: God hears us.
He answers us too. Sometimes He says yes, other times He says no, but still other times He says wait. We have to trust Him, that He knows how to take care of us, and how to best care for our needs.
Along with trying to be a Proverbs 31 woman, ladies, let's endeavor to be a Hannah-woman. Let's make every effort to make our requests known to God and to rest peacefully and happily in Him knowing that He holds our future in His perfect Hands.