Who can imagine praying for and waiting all your life to conceive a child, then birthing it, nursing it through infancy, and turning it over to someone else to raise? What an incredible gift for God to give Hannah! What an incredible gift for Hannah to give God!
For some, Hannah’s gift would be a time of mourning more than generosity. A lifetime of separation! Unbearable grief! For Hannah, though, “her heart exults in the LORD, her strength is exalted in God.” Unbelievably, she is delighting and rejoicing in her chance to give her child to God.
Yesterday was the day we remembered (dare I say celebrated) the lives our veterans gave up to protect us and our way of life. Yes, there is grief, much grief. But there is also joy, the joy of knowing that those sacrifices were willingly given for unselfish reasons. They are remembered and honoured for their offering, just as Hannah is remembered and honoured for hers.
Whatever you choose to give up, it is not the end of the world when you have God within you and surrounding you. God fills us with infinite love; God comforts us in all our grieving; God brings us joy.
Loving God, we give you thanks for all you give us and for all we can give to you. Amen. — SB