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Faithful to God

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” – 1 Samuel 1:10-11, NIV

Hannah was the beloved wife of Elkanah despite being barren. Elkanah had a second wife, a woman named Peninnah who had several children of her own.

Each year when it was time for their family to attend the annual feast, Peninnah would taunt Hannah. She would bring up her lack of children and keep tormenting her until Hannah would begin crying.

As the feast was ending one year, Hannah went to the temple (church). There she prayed that God would grant her a child. She promised that if God would do this for her, she would not consider the child hers but the Lord’s.

Later when God gave her a beautiful baby boy, Hannah held him close. She was with him, night and day. She never wanted him to leave her arms. She treasured each smile, coo, and kiss.

Then when her son was weaned, Hannah took him to the temple. She introduced the boy to the priest and explained that he was to be a servant of the Lord all of his days.

Hannah was faithful to God’s plan for her son’s life, even though it broke her heart to send him away. Sometimes, a mother must make a difficult sacrifice to raise godly children. But those sacrifices are never in vain, for God sees your faithfulness.

God, help me to be faithful like Hannah was. I want to raise godly kids who seek You. Please give me the strength to do that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Discovering Her Identity

Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” – Genesis 29:32, NIV

Leah watched as her sister, Rachel, flirted with Jacob. She watched as they courted, the secret glances they stole at each other when they thought no one else was looking. She admired the way Jacob worked for seven years so that he could marry Rachel.

Then her father came, just hours before her sister’s wedding. He shoved the bridal clothes at her, demanding she slip into them and wed Jacob in her sister’s place.

The next morning, she could hear Jacob shouting at her uncle, demanding to know why he’d been betrayed. Then seven days later, Jacob married Rachel, the sister he truly loved.

Leah was trapped in a loveless marriage but God saw her misery. He sent her a son, and she named him Reuben. She was certain that now her husband would love her and in doing so, made the mistake of placing her worth in her husband and her children rather than God. That’s why she’d spent years feeling so empty and chasing Jacob.

But somewhere along the way, Leah accepted her true identity as a favored daughter of God. She understood that God loved her unconditionally and let that love fill her with peace and joy.

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children. – Genesis 29:35, NIV

God, help me to remember my worth comes not from my relationships. Like Leah, let me rest in You, content with the knowledge that I am Your beloved child. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The Next Generation

“You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” – Judges 13:5, NIV

Jamie was pregnant with her first child. While she was excited for the birth, she was also scared. When Liz, an older woman from her church reached out to her, Jamie shared her fears.

“My mother was addicted to drugs and my father was in and out of prison for most of my childhood. I’m afraid that what happened in one generation will keep repeating in the next. How can I raise a child when I’ve never had a good example of how to do it?”

Liz shared the story of Samson’s mother. “An angel visited Manoah’s wife and told her she would become pregnant with a son who would later be called Samson.”

“When her husband, Manoah wanted to know how to raise the boy, the angel came to the couple and shared God’s instructions again. God will give you wisdom and reveal how to parent your child if you only ask.”

God, let me remember that the sins, mistakes, and problems with the previous generation don’t have to be my child’s story. Show me how to be a wise and loving parent, just like You are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.