1st Samuel 1:9-11 (The Message)
So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to God’s temple in the customary seat. Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried–inconsolably. Then she made a vow:
If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me
By giving me a son,
I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.
Up before dawn, they worshiped God and returned home to Ramah. Elkanah slept with Hannah his wife, and God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what she had asked.
As I read through the first few chapters of 1st Samuel this morning I thought of how only God makes things grow in the wasteland. Only glorious, God-Miracles grow in barren places. The very idea of a barren place is one that is devoid of life.
Do you face lifeless circumstances today? Any empty places in your heart? How about your relationships, marriage, finances, health or even your dreams? Are there situations in your life today that you have been praying about, pouring your heart out to God, and yet you still see no “fruit” growing from the soil of your tears and faith?
I really like verse 19…it caught my attention this morning. “God began making necessary arrangements for what she had asked.” And what had Hannah asked? What had been the cry of her heart? She did not just ask God for a son. She did not just beg God to deliver her from the hardship of barrenness. She was so desperate and broken before the Lord that she promised to consecrate the son of her prayers to God…she was believing God for her heart’s desire, her dream, and yet relinquishing it to God at the same time. What a place to be in!! We all want to know God and experience Him moving in our lives, but we resist with all our might the wasteland places where we must rely on and know Him more intimately. I believe God wants us to live in abundance…to live in joy, peace and power from the Holy Spirit. I used to think if I was spiritual enough, if my faith was strong enough, I would travel on the bypass around the wasteland places of life. But sometimes it is only in the barren place that we are emptied of all we can do, be or fix…sometimes we have to go to a place where nothing out of our own making or doing can grow…where we pour out our hopes, needs and dreams to God…where we acknowledge our dreams are His to have…and in that place of consecration and worship…in the midst of the wasteland…He begins to make the “necessary arrangements” for the God-Miracle to bloom.