by Erin Harris Posted Aug 26, 2020
I’ve been thinking a lot about the kids going back to school tomorrow. Even though we KNOW this is what God has called our family to do for now, it FEELS very uncertain, and less than ideal. Stressed out teachers and admin, masks, kids who’ve been cooped up for five months, and, well, COVID.
I am encouraged by the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1-3. Hannah had prayed long and hard for a child, even making a promise to God at one point that if He blessed her with a child, she would give him up to his service. God did answer her prayers by giving her Samuel, and she did fulfill her promise.
1) It’s okay to keep your babies home until they’re ready. Hannah kept Samuel home until he was weaned (estimates vary between age two and eight years old). But in Jewish culture, this meant she was not only nourishing him with breast milk, but the milk of the Word of God. She spent time caring for him physically and spiritually, investing in him by teaching him God’s Word. So, it’s okay to keep your kids home, just know that they can’t stay there forever. Don’t just shelter them. Equip them!
2) Hannah knew that the situation at the temple was less than ideal, but she trusted God and took Samuel anyway. The priest at the temple (Eli) was a lazy father, and his sons were drunkards, troublemakers, and bullies. Hannah would have been fully aware of the stressful environment into which she was taking her son. But she was also fully aware of the God to whom she was entrusting her son. Mamas, the situation at school this year is less than ideal. But in all honesty, it always has been. Whether they have teachers that love them or not, there are always bullies and that is out of our control. But God loves our babies more than we do. And He is capable of seeing them through regardless of the circumstances.
3) Hannah dropped Samuel off, and then she worshiped. 1 Samuel 2:1-10 records a beautiful prayer of a faithful mom. I imagine her putting on her brave face, smiling and saying one last goodbye, holding in her tears, and then turning and walking away and letting them flow out in a song of praise. So mamas, whether we’re dropping those babies off at kindergarten or at college, make sure to take a moment and praise God for all He has done and thank him for all He will do in your babies’ lives.
4) She did what she could from a distance. No doubt she prayed for him. No doubt we all pray for our kids. Keep on prayin’! Hannah also came to visit the temple once a year, bringing him a new robe each time. We think our babies have grown a ton since March when they last wore pants. Imagine only seeing your baby once a year. Those inches must have seemed like feet! And in some years, they may have been! Mamas, do what you can for your babies, and let God do the rest. He’s actually better at taking care of them than we are.
5) God spoke to Samuel in a personal way. Even after all his mom has done for him, Samuel only came to know the Lord when the Lord himself spoke. Mamas, you are not the voice of the Lord for your kids. You can not pray them into heaven, force them into belief, or save them from their sins. That’s God’s job. You are an instrument of love, but only He is their Savior. Don’t try to take Gods place in their life.
6) God used Samuel in a mighty way. Regardless of Hannah’s desire, the reality was that she was largely absent from Samuel’s life. And in spite of this, Samuel still “grew in the presence of the Lord.” Mamas, God has a plan for our babies. And He will fulfill it regardless of our decisions, successes, or failures. He is God and His Presence is enough for our kids.
So, mamas, whatever you’ve decided to do for your kids this year, above all, TRUST the LORD! He’s got this!