I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. I Samuel 1:27
I enjoyed a sweet moment when my eyes fell over this I Samuel verse again. It’s the prayer I prayed in November, 1997, when I was pregnant with my third child.
We even included it on his birth announcements.
At the time, I’d already been blessed with a boy (age 4) and a toddling-all-over little girl (18 months). When my son learned mommy was pregnant and seeing he already had a sister–who, by his estimation, hadn’t measured up when time came for sword fights—he asked for a brother. (Ever feel like a vending machine?)
I kindly told him, “You’ll have to pray and ask God for a brother.”
Which he did. Right there on the driveway where he’d been riding his bicycle earlier. Hands folded in prayer, he asked for God to give him a brother.
Oh, such tender, unadulterated faith. So I prayed,
“Lord, you know the gender makes no difference to us. But in order that our son not lose faith in You, please grant me a son.”
A second trimester ultra-sound gave evidence of God’s answered prayer, confirmed when Jonathan Michael was born. And fully male. As had been asked.
The following day, we took the precious newborn home and kept him.
Of course, you say.
No, I mean, I kept him. For myself.
Spiritually speaking, I’d not given my son back over to the Lord.
God’s gift was mine, all mine, right?
But Hannah had the right heart. This amazing woman of faith ached for a child and labored in prayer for years. In the course of time (vs 20) she received from God that for which she asked. Once her son was weaned, she reiterated an earlier vow she’d made to God and, “young as he was”, (vs 24) she gave him back over.
“So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” (vs 28)
When God graciously grants me what I ask, He has a specific purpose in mind. It’s one that surpasses His pure desire to lavish me with His love.
In the midst of my enjoyment of it, what might He ultimately want me to do with it?
Give it back?
Lord, give back your good gifts?
Imagine the Christmas morning scenario.
Father stands, shuffles through the billowing pile of wrapping paper, dusts his hands together and says,
“All right, children. Let father have those toys back. I’ve got a specific purpose in mind for them.”
How many children would scramble to gather their gifts and freely surrender them to papa?
Few, if any…aside from a Hallmark movie, a child actor who’d been paid good money to respond in ready obedience.
Speaking of gifts, God has graciously blessed me with the receipt of my first novel this week. Book in hand, the realization of a dream.
In the flurry of excitement, this verse has given me necessary and welcome pause.
“And I prayed for this book and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give the book to the Lord, for its whole earthly existence, it will be given over to the Lord.”
Among the gifts He’s given you, are there some He wants you to give back? How difficult is it? Why?
Let’s choose to hold His gifts loosely.
I’d love to hear from you!
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