I have done this a number of times (and I suspect I will do it a number more) where I have been less diligent about posting. To the few who read this (thanks Mom and Grandmother!), sorry about that and I will try to do better!
This Sunday we spoke about the story from 1 Samuel 1:1-20. It is about Hannah and the birth of Samuel. If you know this story, you know that Hannah had prayed for a long time for a child (after being unable to have children) and then, finally, God answers her prayer by giving her Samuel (“Samuel” means “God has heard”).
What a timely message. In the wake of the attacks in Paris, in the midst of a world ever-increasing in violence and in light of our own lives that daily prove to challenge and provoke us, we need to know that God hears us.
But Hannah’s story is not so simple… It is tempting to read the beginning and then jump straight to the end (Hannah didn’t have a child→she prays→she has a child). To do that would cheapen her story and take away from its humanity, that you and I can surely use.
In the middle of Hannah’s story, we read that she is mocked (on purpose and on accident), she painfully and consistently watches others give birth and sees those around her simply not understand what she is going through. 1 Samuel 1:7 tells us that “year after year” this went on.
You and I know what this is like. We have all been in seasons of life where we feel the weight of our pain constantly on us. We wear the burden of grief like a jacket that we don’t know how to take off. No matter what others say and do (even those well-intentioned), we still feel the aching of our longing.
But even if we haven’t read the middle, we have certainly read the ending. God gives Hannah Samuel, “God has heard.” What great news, that God has heard us and hears us even in the midst of our pain.
By now you probably know that I end most Sunday’s with a benediction that comes from Romans 8 and is especially important considering the scripture for today. No matter what pain you are going through, no matter what season of life you are in (good, bad, ugly, beautiful…) “God know where you are and with patience and love, God gives you all you need.”
God know where and who we are and God loves us. God’s promise to us is that God always hears us.
Grace & peace be yours, -Pastor Cole