Begging God--Part 2 of 2

10:12 AMHeather

Have you ever just needed a good cry?  Okay, if you are of the male persuasion and reading this--you probably have no idea what I mean.  But, ladies--sometimes our emotions so build in us that we just need that release.  We try to hold it together and put on a brave face.  But, it can only last so long until we just NEED that ugly cry.  And, you know when it's over, you somehow feel a little bit better?  Although you circumstances and heartaches remain, the emotional release helped a bit.  And then you think...now what?!  As you wait with bated breath for that answer to your prayers...now what?

This is where we left Hannah yesterday.  Spent emotionally, yet somehow her face was no longer downcast.  Her ugly cry over, now what?  What happened for her?  I have to admit that hers is one of those Bible stories that I thought I knew by heart.  But, as God in his marvelous mysterious ways would have it, there was more to this story.  So, in my little mind, it went like this.  Hannah cried.  Hannah prayed.  Hannah was heard.  Hannah had baby Samuel.  

But, on that Sunday morning so many years ago, when my heart's desperate cry was solely focused on my desire to have a child, I saw a verse that I had obviously glossed over time and again.  And, it, my bloggy friends, nearly jumped off the pages that morning to supernaturally fill me with a hope I can hardly explain.  It still gives me "goosies" (as JLo would say) when I remember that moment because it was so profound. 

And, in the course of time, Hannah conceived.
1 Samuel 1:20

In the course of time, friends.  Whatever you are begging God for...he will answer.  In the course of time.  Unfortunately for us, it's not always in the course of time WE have planned.  But, in the course of time, prayers are answered.  According to the Heavenly time table--not a moment before and not a second too late.  We can trust His sovereign BEST plan for our good.  In the course of time.  Oh, the waiting can be excruciating.  We don't know if Hannah conceived the next day, the next month, the next year, or even 10 years down the line.  But, in the course of time.  If we can choose to trust that His plan is the best--always, without exception, then we can hang our hope on this phrase.  In the course of time.  

On that Sunday morning, it was the life preserver I needed to keep me from drowning in my despair.  I clung to it for dear life.  And, you know, God is always in the details.  He is just faithful that way.  Do you see that reference?  1 Samuel 1:20.  That was my verse.  Nearly four months later, after yet another miscarriage scare, I just about laughed out loud when I realized something.  I was due with my first baby on January 20th.  1/20.   I see God's hand and humor all over it.  And guess when that precious baby boy arrived?  Yep, my quite timely first child arrived on January 20th.  On the dot.  The date of his birth shouts at me every time about the faithfulness of God.  In the course of time.

Glimpse of grace:  I thought this was a rather nice and tidy place to end.  But, God, again in his infinite wisdom, has an epilogue that I hope you find as intriguing as I do.  When I was reading through this story a few weeks ago, I was nearly dumbstruck by yet another verse I had completely and utterly ignored somehow.  
And the boy Samuel continued
to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord
and with man.
1 Samuel 2:26

Nearly took my breath away.  I even read it again and a third time to be sure I saw that right.  Yep.  The Scripture's description of the boy who was conceived by Hannah in the course of time.  Do you know another boy in the Bible who was described this way?

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and
in favor with God and with men.
Luke 2:52

No coincidence, I am sure.  Here's the thing.  Hannah begged and pleaded and poured out her heart as she surrendered to God's plan.  And, here's the sweet and blessed assurance.   Surrendering your dreams and hopes to the Lord--even those deepest most desperate pleas--it does not mean settling.  Quite the contrary.  Surrendering means releasing your hopes for the best to receive His plans for the best!  In the course of time.  Let me just say it again.  Surrendering means releasing your hopes for the best in order to receive His plans for the best.  

Hannah wanted to be a mom.  Pure and simple.  And, in the course of time, God answered her prayers.  And, he didn't just give her any son.  Nope, he gave her an amazing son.  Samuel was the boy who would say, "Here I am, Lord!  Your servant is listening!"  Samuel was the boy whose description closely mirrors the Son of the God he served.  1 Samuel 3:19-21 says that the Lord was with Samuel as he grew up and He let NONE of Samuel's words fall to the ground.  And ALL OF ISRAEL recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.

So, there you are. On your knees, begging.  Heart wrenching pleas clench your stomach.   Weeping and desperate.  And, here's what I can tell you about begging of God.  He hears.  And He answers.  In the course of time.  And, we can find rest in this truth.  His "in the course of time" plans far exceed any expectation we might have.  Hannah wanted a baby.  God gave a prophet.  Hannah wanted a son.  God gave her a man that all of history would see was anointed by God.  And, then, lest we picture Hannah all alone while her darling Samuel was off ministering to the nation, let's remember this. 
And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; 
she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. 
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up 
in the presence of the LORD. 
1 Samuel 2:21

She asked for one child.  God gave her 6.  I pray today that as your heart cries out to the Lord, from the depths of your sorrow and angst, you can find hope in this fact.  You ask for this one thing.  God's desire for you is to grant good things for you--even better.  Exceedingly more than you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20) for the eternal glory and gain of Him.  In the course of time, He wants to give you more.  Tie a knot on that Scripture and hang on for dear life.  In the course of time, God always answers for our greatest good.  1 Samuel 1:20...in the course of time.

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