Hannah, in the Bible, prayed for a child. And after being long barren and daily tormented by her enemy, God gave her her heart’s desire, and in turn she gave the child back to God—leaving him as a young child in the hands of Eli the old priest.
Now, Eli had anything except a stellar track record in the parenting category. As a matter of fact, when the child Samuel was left with Eli in verse 10 of 1 Sam. 1, the very next verse tells us that Eli’s sons were wicked. They weren’t just a little naughty; they were down right bad.
Shortly after the birth of each of our children, we publically took them before the church and dedicated them to God—a giving back, so to speak, of the most precious and valued gifts we’d been given. It was a common practice among our circles in those days, and in our youth, we were very serious, presenting a tiny one to God. But, unlike Hannah, when we returned home, we took the child with us. And they grew and grew—and we did what seemed best for each of them. Then there came a day when each departed out from our care—but never—not ever—from the hand of God.
These days, I’m often reminded of those dedications. When fears for them grip my soul, I am reminded that I did not keep them. We returned them to their Creator, and I must trust His sovereign plan for each day they walk—sometimes in joy, sometimes in pain.
I recall the voice of Hannah and it ministers to me: “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” There are many things that I do not understand. But, I do know that come what may, they do not walk alone.