Advent Devotional | December 19, 2020
Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on 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.” 1 Samuel 1:9-11
“God is never late and rarely early. He is always exactly right on time–His time.” – Dillon Burroughs, Author
Have you ever wanted something so badly that you physically wept before the Lord? Hannah did. She was the barren wife of Elkanah. He was incredibly kind to her amid her sorrow, reassuring her and offering her his comfort. But it did not appease the deep and good desire within her to bear a child. There was nothing wrong with her request. If you remember way back to the beginning of humanity, it was and still is God’s desire for us to “be fruitful and multiply.” So, Hannah was making a reasonable request of God. Why would her prayer not be answered?
God is not unaware of our longings. As the story goes with Hannah, she eventually did conceive a child. And that child went on to be dedicated to the Lord as a critical character in King David’s story. Samuel, Hannah’s son, played an essential role in the lives of those who would eventually bear Jesus. What is important to note is that people do have desires, even good ones, that are not fulfilled in the way they dreamed. But God does not leave us alone in those feelings, and Advent is a great reminder of this truth. God is our provider, and His timing is always right, even when we don’t feel like He’s acting quickly enough. Keep in mind that Hannah held the desire to have a child for a long time, much like the world waited for its Savior.
Do not stop laying your heart before the Lord. You can almost sense Hannah’s anguish as she patiently moved forward through the pain she felt. There are and will be seasons in all of our lives where God’s timing and our timing are not aligned. It is appropriate to live life in those moments, but don’t expect to stay there. You can be assured that God desires to give out good gifts upon request (see Matthew 7:11). Don’t be discouraged when those prayers are not answered when you think they should be. God’s timing is perfect.
Pastor Dave Mergens