Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Because I Have Asked Him of the Lord
By Karen Pourbabaee
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The morning sun was warming the air over Shiloh. It had been many days since the heavens had graced the land with its cleansing rains. Our silent footsteps created swirling clouds of dust. And with each step the ache of barrenness further gripped my soul. But our eyes remained fixed on the familiar sight of the emerging temple in the distance. Year after year, we faithfully journeyed to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts.
“There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides Thee,
Nor is there any rock like our God. “
I Samuel 2:2 (NAS)
Entering the Temple gates, I wondered if this would be the year I found favor in the Lord’s sight. I have endured the scorn of Peninnah and the village women. I have sat silently crying with empty arms. I have relentlessly petitioned the Lord. How many times must I watch proud and joyful parents bringing their children to the Temple for ceremonies of dedication? Lord, remember me this time!
Fragrant perfume wafting from the Altar of Incense abruptly awakened her spirit as she approached the courtyards of the Temple. Bowing in reverence to the Lord, Hannah prayed in unison with other faithful servants in the Women’s Court. Her despair welled up into tears as she professed a solemn vow to the Lord.
“ O Lord of Hosts, if Thou will indeed look on the affliction of Thy maidservant and remember me, and not forget Thy maidservant, but wilt give Thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…” I Samuel 1: 11 (NAS)
The Temple priest, Eli, noticed Hannah that day as she arrived at the Temple gates for he had sensed the oppression in her spirit, but he also sensed she was a woman of enduring faith. He knew that God had a word for her that he was called to deliver.
“Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” I Samuel 1:17 (NAS)
My faith had been strengthened by God’s Word, becoming my constant meditation on the return journey. My always kind, loving husband, Elkanah, was by my side. My heart echoed with the prayers of praise that graced my lips at the Temple. And God’s unsurpassing peace came to settle in my soul. The hills of Ramah beckoned me home.
“…and the Lord remembered her.” I Samuel 1:19 (NAS)
The rains had finally come to the hills and valleys at Ramah, bringing an assurance of harvest. Hannah felt the movement of new life within as she came to rest under a tree overlooking the expansive valley. The ache of barrenness had released its grip. She closed her eyes, imagining her promised son cradled in her now empty arms. The Lord had remembered her indeed!
“And it came about in due time…that she gave birth to a son, and she named him Samuel, saying ‘Because I have asked him of the Lord.’ “ I Samuel 1:20 (NAS)
God had not forgotten Hannah. The barren one had now become the blessed one. Her arms were now brimming with a lively beautiful baby boy. Year after year she had faithfully journeyed
to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts. Samuel was born of Hannah’s enduring faith, and this lesson she held close to her heart.
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