On Saturday 11/1, Kevin and I went to an adoption conference. While I sat and listened to this amazing woman’s story, I knew there were several things I would want to share on my blog. But the first thing I will share with you will be a reference that the lady who is the director of Chosen International spoke of in her opening remarks before we even heard the speaker.
She mentioned 1 Samuel and Hannah praying to God for a child. To be honest with you, I really don’t remember what she said. My mind started racing to that story and remembering Hannah’s vow to God that if God gave her a son she would dedicate him to the Lord’s service. (1 Sam. 1:11) The Lord grants Hannah’s request for a son and true to her word, she keeps him with her until he is weaned and then takes him to the temple. She had no way of knowing if God would give her any other children. She named him Samuel which means “heard of God”. He must have been very special to her after such a long wait for a child of her own.
When a believer has a child, most of those parents dedicate or symbolically give back their child to God either in a formal ceremony or in a personal prayer. None of us really thinks about actually giving up that child, do we? When I thought of Hannah giving Samuel to the Lord’s service I immediately thought of our son, Grant. He was a child that we had prayed for. With my fertility issues, we did not take pregnancy as a given. He was a precious gift and yes, I desired that his life would be used of the Lord and prayed that way.
Wednesday would have been Grant’s seventeenth birthday. He died just a few short months before he turned fifteen. This is the third birthday of his that we have had to face without him. That is very hard. As his Mom I wonder what would have changed about my boy in those two years. What would life in our family have been like if things hadn’t so drastically changed that day. Who knows. Our family is forever altered – and although it is extremely painful (like I still wonder if I can bear it sometimes) – there are wonderful things that have happened that wouldn’t have if he were still alive.
It is really hard to accept that. Some days I am thankful that God has used this tradegy for good in my life and in our family. The best thing to happen is the girls coming to our family this year. Two little girls from India live in our family and are learning about Jesus who would not have been here otherwise. Other days, like today when my heart just hurts so badly to see him and hear his voice, I don’t think there is enough good in the world that could make up for his loss.
In 1 Samuel 2 Hannah sings a prayer. It is beautiful.
1And Hannah prayed and said, (to me, it sounds like a song!)
“My heart exults in the LORD;
my strength is exalted in the LORD.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation. (What am I focusing(rejoicing) on? This temporary life or the eternal promises of the Lord?)
2 “There is none holy like the LORD;
there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
Her prayer continues to verse 10. Her themes are thanksgiving, focusing on the Lord’s sovereignty and grace to the humble or His deliverance. She truly gave God back this precious gift for His use/purposes and His glory. Notice I say “gave back” because Samuel, just as each of our children are, was a gift from God and none of us can hold onto that gift.
As I said, there are days when I know the truth and days when I really believe the truth. This day my thoughts are muddled with my grief. I do know that I can rest in the Lord. I do know that I can trust Him with my life and all those I love because He has proved Himself faithful, not just in my life, but in those I can read about in His Word. I know that God is in control of everything (sovereign) and that is a VERY good thing. I know and believe that I have a living hope because of Jesus and I will see Grant again. I look forward to standing around God’s throne worshipping and sharing that with him. I look forward to the end of the struggle of sin in my flesh.
I want to say with Hannah, “My heart exults in the Lord, my strength is exalted in the Lord. I rejoice in my salvation! There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” Some days we say it because our heart means it. Some days we say it to remind ourselves what we know to be true and eventually we get back to the place where we believe it again.
This is the Christian walk of faith.