The Cross, the Veil, and the Empty Tomb

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

When I think of Easter, three objects come to my mind…

~ the cross, the veil, and the empty tomb ~

 jesus-on-the-cross-for-us

For if not for the cross, my penalty would not have been paid. The broken blood oath of the covenant would not have been satisfied. It is only through the blood of Jesus that we are cleansed from the curse of sin.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

 torn

As Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” and gave up His Spirit, the veil in the Temple, that separated man from the Holy of Holies, was torn in two. It was as if God, seeing the injustice of Christ’s death, rent His clothes in grief. And in so doing, He opened the way for all to enter into His presence. Now, boldly, we can come before the Throne of Grace, for the barrier of sin that separated us from God has been broken. The terrible gulf has been filled and we are reconciled to the Father.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

 The-Empty-Tomb

Even as the sun was blotted from the sky and the earth was covered in darkness, God knew that Sunday was coming. Sealed for three days within the tomb, the Lord’s body lay, uncorrupted. Then with the dawn of that Sunday morning, the stone was rolled away–not to let anyone out, but to let those present bear witness–that indeed, Jesus had risen.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

 Where-is-Your-Sting

The tomb is empty! Death has no power over Him, the grave cannot contain Him. And now we have not just hope, but a Living Hope in Christ Jesus, the Risen Savior!

“O Death, where is your sting?

O Hades, where is your victory?”

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15: 55-57

Hosanna!

~ Susan

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Three Nails

It is often said that bad things come in threes.Nails

Yet we see in scripture that the number three represents completeness.

Are there not three facets of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Three parts to the Tabernacle: the court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies?

Jonah was in the whale for three days. Jesus was in the tomb for three days.

The number resonates all through the Word of God. How then can we see the number three as a bad omen?

Yet, as I pondered this, it came to methe image of three nails. The vision stayed with me for weeks. Yet I could not put together what exactly God was saying. What was the significance of those three nails?

Three nails pierced the hands and feet of Jesus as he hung upon the cross. Three nails were used to crucify our Savior.

Slowly, my vision cleared. My eyes were opened, as again, I read the story of the crucifixion.

As the first nail bit into the flesh of Jesus’ palm, as the crowd taunted and jeered, He spoke this prayer:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34

He looked past the hammer, beyond the hand, and into the heart that was yet unclean. A heart that needed Him, for was not this His mission, to bring the lost to the Father. He forgave, and in so doing, He showed us our need and His redeeming love.

The second nail pierced through his other hand, and with the agony of the searing pain, he cried out:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34

Here was the climax of Jesus’ life. All He had worked for unfolded in that desperate hour. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus not only bore our sins, but He became our sin. He experienced the full meaning of what it was to be human: completely and utterly separated from God. For where sin is, God cannot be. The gulf stretched before Jesus, and He was alone.

The final nail was driven into His feet, those precious feet where the tears of Mary had washed away the stains of His journey. It was in that final hour that the third prayer was lifted toward heaven:

“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Luke 23:46

Through the torment of His distress, Jesus surrendered to the will of God. He trusted the Father despite His circumstances. The Savior demonstrated to us all, that even in the midst of our trials, we are to have faith in the Lord. God is our salvation. God turned and reached across the void and took hold of Jesus.

“It is finished!” John 19:30

The Bride Price was paid. Yet, God had more to give. Three days later, within a dark and dismal tomb, life returned to Jesus. Death could not hold Him, even as death has no power over us!

But how can we conquer death?

Each point, each prayer, must pierce us, even to our very souls. We must be crucified with Christ.

There were three crosses on that first Good Friday. Two thieves hanging beside Jesus: one to the right and one to the left.

On one side, the thief blasphemed, taunting Jesus:

“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” Luke 23:39

The other thief rebuked the first:

“We receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Here, as we all must do, he acknowledged his sin. He perceived his own guilt and the terrible gulf before him. So he surrendered to God, and spoke with a humble and honest heart:

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Luke 23:41-42

As the thief confessed his belief that Jesus is the One who saves, Jesus looked at him with those loving eyes and spoke these words:

“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43

Today, we have a choice to make. We can either be as the first thief, and deny Christ; or we can be as the second thief, admit our fault and ask for God’s forgiveness.

Jesus showed us the waywith three nails and three prayers.

So what can three nails accomplish?

They can bridge the gulf between death and life. Save the lost. Transform hearts. Open minds. Free a captive soul.

Three nails and three prayers. The choice is yours.

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

~ Susan

 

Reference: Robert C. Crosby, D.Min. “The One Jesus Loves”

 

 

My Wounded Heart

iStock_000003113777Medium

The grief was still too near, a matter for tears and not yet for song.

                        ~J. R. R. Tolkien

      

You just sit and try to understand. But some things cannot be understood. Some paths are just too dark to see the other side, and once you have turned down the path there’s no going back. It’s dark and no one can take the journey for you. There is nothing but forward, though you do it with trembling and uncertainty. This journey is not of my choosing, but it is mine nonetheless.

*                   *                   *

          After two weeks of dealing with the aftermath of September 11, our family returned home. I was to resume the threads of a normal life. But how could life ever be normal again? Outwardly, I performed all that was expected. Inwardly, I felt as though I was moving through a thick fog, dazed and confused. Within days of arriving home, we celebrated our youngest son’s birthday. I sat there looking on, knowing that I needed to cherish the moment, this first birthday of my last child, but really, I wasn’t even there. I felt nothing. I was numb. My son’s entire life has been his mother trying to come to terms with 9/11. Yet somehow, I walked through the days and months that followed. The school year continued, more birthdays came; then the holidays approached, and the weariness set in.

Life is hard. Just the breath we take in can become a burden. There were days when all I could do was focus on the next moment, for to look beyond that next moment was overwhelming. I would go through the day saying, “All I am going to do is unload the dishwasher. That is all I have to do. I will think of nothing but unloading the dishwasher.” Then I would swallow the tears and unload the dishwasher. Then I would say, “Now I am going to load the dishwasher. I will think of nothing but loading the dishwasher….” Moment to moment was all I could handle. I wanted to throw the covers over my head and stay in bed forever. But I had a baby who needed me, so I got up and faced each new day, each day where no dawn could reach me.

The terror of it all surrounds me. Though I would shake it off, it pursues me, violently storming against me. How can I outrun the wind? The more I leave off, the more it seeks me out. My soul is poured out in my distress. I am dissolved in a flood of tears, my vessel full of holes so that nothing is contained. “The days of affliction take hold of me.” (Job 30:15–16)

How can God understand my hurt? “Does He have eyes of flesh? Or does He see as man sees?” (Job 10:4) Even worse, if He grasps how I feel, how could He let this happen knowing full well how this would affect me? If God is Love, how can He allow Hate to strike His own?

*                            *                            *

         “What strength do I have, that I should hope?” (Job 6:11a) My mind is like a house filled with archways. I have no doors that I can shut against the grief. My sorrow flows freely into all aspects of my life. I can never escape it. “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.” (Job 3:26)

And so the tears come as the loss overwhelms, like a wave that crashes into me and tosses me, threatening to drag me out to sea. Each new memory casts me back into the grief and loss. The emptiness consumes me, a fire that cannot be extinguished.

Yet Hope springs in the darkest hour. book cover 1

~ Susan

See what God has shown me through the tragic events of September 11 in my true and personal account: SILENT RESOLVE AND THE GOD WHO LET ME DOWN (a 9/11 story)

Excerpts taken from SILENT RESOLVE AND THE GOD WHO LET ME DOWN (a 9/11 story): Episode 2 – Awakened and Episode 3 – Tears

Three Nails

It is often said that bad things come in threes.Nails

Yet we see in scripture that the number three represents completeness.

Are there not three facets of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Three parts to the Tabernacle: the court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies?

Jonah was in the whale for three days. Jesus was in the tomb for three days.

The number resonates all through the Word of God. How then can we see the number three as a bad omen?

Yet, as I pondered this, it came to me – the image of three nails. The vision stayed with me for weeks. Yet I could not put together what exactly God was saying. What was the significance of those three nails?

Three nails pierced the hands and feet of Jesus as he hung upon the cross. Three nails were used to crucify our Savior.

Slowly, my vision cleared. My eyes were opened, as again, I read the story of the crucifixion.

As the first nail bit into the flesh of Jesus’ palm, as the crowd taunted and jeered, He spoke this prayer:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34

He looked past the hammer, beyond the hand, and into the heart that was yet unclean. A heart that needed Him, for was not this His mission, to bring the lost to the Father. He forgave, and in so doing, He showed us our need and His redeeming love.

The second nail pierced through his other hand, and with the agony of the searing pain, he cried out:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34

Here was the climax of Jesus’ life. All He had worked for unfolded in that desperate hour. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus not only bore our sins, but He became our sin. He experienced the full meaning of what it was to be human: completely, and utterly, separated from God. For where sin is God cannot be. The gulf stretched before Jesus, and He was alone.

The final nail was driven into His feet, those precious feet where the tears of Mary had washed away the stains of His journey. It was in that final hour that the third prayer was lifted toward heaven:

“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Luke 23:46

Through the torment of His distress, Jesus surrendered to the will of God. He trusted the Father despite His circumstances. The Savior demonstrated to us all, that even in the midst of our trials, we are to have faith in the Lord. God is our salvation. God turned and reached across the void and took hold of Jesus.

“It is finished!” John 19:30

The Bride Price was paid. Yet, God had more to give. Three days later, within a dark and dismal tomb, life returned to Jesus. Death could not hold Him, even as death has no power over us!

But how can we conquer death?

Each point, each prayer, must pierce us, even to our very souls. We must be crucified with Christ.

There were three crosses on that first Good Friday. Two thieves hanging beside Jesus: one to the right and one to the left.

On one side, the thief blasphemed, taunting Jesus:

“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” Luke 23:39

The other thief rebuked the first:

“We receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Here, as we all must do, he acknowledged his sin. He perceived his own guilt and the terrible gulf before him. So he surrendered to God, and spoke with a humble and honest heart:

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Luke 23:41-42

As the thief confessed his belief that Jesus is the One who saves, Jesus looked at him with those loving eyes and spoke these words:

“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43

Today, we have a choice to make. We can either be as the first thief, and deny Christ; or we can be as the second thief, admit our fault and ask for God’s forgiveness.

Jesus showed us the way – with three nails and three prayers.

So what can three nails accomplish?

They can bridge the gulf between death and life. Save the lost. Transform hearts. Open minds. Free a captive soul.

Three nails and three prayers. The choice is yours.

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

~ Susan

 

Reference: Robert C. Crosby, D.Min. “The One Jesus Loves”

 

 

Lamb Selection Day – Palm Sunday

Passover LambIt is not by chance that our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is on this day. The events, as they unfold, are not by happenstance. The entire week is a well-orchestrated, choreographed enterprise enveloped in symbolism foretold by the prophets of old.

The week begins with a colt. Jesus gives instruction to his disciples to enter into the city and retrieve a donkey’s foal, for it is to be his transportation into Jerusalem. This colt, Jesus knew where to find it, and what is to be said to its master.

It is not because Jesus can not find a more suitable mode of travel. He can choose any animal He desires, yet the Savior of the world chooses this simple, humble beast. The donkey, you see, is to prove a point, for it is as the prophet Zechariah wrote,

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your King is coming to you;

He is just and having salvation,

Lowly and riding on a donkey,

A colt, the foal of a donkey.”

                                    Zechariah 9:9

Jesus comes to the city upon the back of this beast of burden in order to fulfill this prophecy. Not only that, but as he enters, the people recognize the fulfillment of scripture, even as the prophet had spoken, and shout with unbounded joy. This action by Jesus is understood to be His proclamation, that He is indeed, God’s promised Messiah.

Though the symbolism is not yet complete, for it is even known from which direction the Messiah would appear.

“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east.”  Zechariah 14:4

It is from the Mount of Olives He will come, riding upon a donkey’s colt.

Jesus now arrives, having come just then, from this very garden. The actions of Jesus are anything but subtle, and they are not lost to the people. So they cry out as they understand what this entry into Jerusalem means, “The King is coming, and He is here!”

“Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Mark 11:9

Even the shouts of the people are foretold, their very words proclaimed, recorded in the psalms, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 188:26)

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yet, all is not well, for the people are looking for a military deliverer, a king that will lead them in battle against the oppressive regime of the Roman Empire. As they wave their palm branches, the people shout, “Hosanna.” The branches represent the national symbol, waving their flag in support of the nation of Israel. The word Hosanna, not a cry of peace or religious fervor, but a symbol of rebellion as it signifies a call for deliverance from oppression. This joyous assembly is not singing praises to God, but is crying out for insurrection against an oppressive dictatorship. It is a battle cry.

However, Jesus has not come as a military deliverer, an earthly king to lead His people to war. He comes to reconcile His people to the Father.

It is for this reason that Jesus chose this particular day to enter into the city of Jerusalem. As He rides upon the colt, He enters the city with the lambs. Four days it is before the Passover, and this day is Lamb Selection Day. This is the day that the Passover lamb is to be chosen, the innocent sacrifice that will take the place of the first born. It is the tenth day of the month; on the fourteenth day, the Passover lamb is to be killed.

Enter Jesus, the perfect propitiation, to be chosen as their spotless lamb. Not a political liberator, but the King of all, whose kingdom is established by love and sacrifice.

Four days later, Jesus is with His disciples in the Upper Room, celebrating the Passover. Only this Passover is not like the others. Here Jesus puts Himself as the Lamb, His body and blood as the sacrifice. Then, the next morning, He is alone, upon the cross, His blood shed for the many that are now nowhere to be found.

And as the shofar is sounded, at the ninth hour, or three o’clock, the Passover lamb is slain, the lamb without blemish, given up for the people. It is at this very moment, upon a lone hill called Golgotha, that Jesus says, “It is finished.”

reflections on Christ - crucifixionJesus is the perfect Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Because of this single act of selflessness, all who follow Him are set free from the bondage of sin, liberated from the oppressive regime of the Enemy.

“Hosanna in the Highest!”

~ Susan

Take My Hand

The Hand of Jesus

“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.” Matthew 19: 13-15

This Sunday, our pastor told a joke and it went something like this:

 

Once there was a man who, while walking along a road, fell into a ditch.

A Pharisee came by and seeing the man, said, “My son, you are unclean.” And he walked to the other side, leaving the man in the ditch.

Next, a Presbyterian came along the road and said, “You were predestined to fall into that ditch.” He walked on by.

Then a Methodist was traveling down the street, and noticed the man in the ditch. He walked over to the fellow and, with pity, looked down at him. “Praise God in the bad times. I will pray for you brother.” And he continued on down the road.

A Charismatic followed soon after, and said, “Brother, just believe you are out of the ditch and it will be so.” And he walked on by.

A fundamentalist journeyed along the road, and seeing the man, said to him, “You deserve to be in that ditch.” And he, too, continued on.

And so the list continued, until Jesus walked over to the ditch. With love, He reached out to the man and said, “Come, take my hand.”

And He lifted the man out of the ditch.

(No disrespect intended to any denominational group)

 

All kidding aside, it left me with this thought: how complicated we make faith. As we try to figure out why difficulties happen, or what we did to deserve them, Jesus has His hand extended to us. He is willing to help us out of our present situation. May we always see His helping hand through the mire of man-made dogma.

Jesus offers Grace. All we need do is take hold of it.

~ Susan

Hannah – Model of a Godly Mother

There have been many important people throughout time, great men and women who have changed the course of world events. Yet all of them have something in common; they had a mother.

It is mother that molds us in those early years, a time when the foundation of who we are is formed. Mother was the one who picked us up when we fell and brushed away our tears. And it was mother that made us eat right, do our homework, and yes, even disciplined us.

Mother – the very word brings comfort.

President Theodore Roosevelt once spoke, “When all is said, it is the mother, who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the men and women of the next generation….it is she who is of greater use to the community, and occupies, if she would only realize it, a more honorable as well as a more important position than any man in it…She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, or businessman, or artist, or scientist.”

Mother – the most noble of all enterprises.

Many of us have heard the story of Hannah, the Prophet Samuel’s mother. She lived in a time when Israel had no king; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).

Up to this point, the Hebrew people were stuck in a period of cycles: they rebelled against God… began worshiping pagan deities…suffered the painful consequences of their actions…cried out to God for help…He sent them a judge to deliver them. For a while, the people returned to the Lord, that is until the judge died, then it was back to rebelling against God…and the cycle would start all over again.

This cycle repeated itself seven times.

The Israelites were a fractured group of ineffective tribal clans that could scarcely defend themselves against their enemies. Threats to their nation came from every corner of the land, but it was the Philistines they most dreaded.

Into this climate came Hannah. She was the wife of Elkanah, a Levite living in Ephraim. Now, Elkanah loved Hannah, but he had another wife, Peninnah.

Here was your classic love triangle.

Peninnah was blessed with an open womb. Every time she turned around, she had another child. But Hannah was barren.

In Hannah’s day, a woman’s sole purpose in life was to bear children, especially sons.

With her womb empty, Hannah’s heart broke.

Now every year, Elkanah went from his home and traveled on a pilgrimage to Shiloh in order to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts.

– for he was devoted to God

God’s law required the Israelites to attend three annual festivals a year. The Tabernacle was at Shiloh, for the Temple in Jerusalem had not yet been built.

As was the custom, whenever Elkanah made an offering, he would give a portion to Peninnah and her children. But to Hannah, he would give a double portion, for he loved her.

Peninnah would take every opportunity to taunt Hannah, speaking hurtful words because her rival had no children.

It was a double wound – it was bad enough to be sad about not having children, but to be reminded constantly of her sorrow – that was just too much.

Well, the time came for Elkanah to journey to Shiloh. The law did not require the women to accompany the men in these religious pilgrimages, but Hannah was devoted to her husband and to God, so she went with him.

And of course, Peninnah went also.

While in Shiloh, the taunting of Peninnah came to a head. She was relentless in her ridicule. Hannah became so depressed that she wept and could not eat.

Sweet Elkanah, he loved Hannah so much. He could not bear to see her is such distress. He tried to comfort her with these words, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved?

Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

Though Hannah loved her husband, his words did not relieve the sorrow she bore. So she arose and went to the Tabernacle to pray.

– You see, she took her burden to the Lord.

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

She was not alone. Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the Tabernacle of the Lord. And in the bitterness of her soul, she prayed to the Lord, weeping.

In the anguish of her soul, she prayed her way through it.

 

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

 

In Hannah is an example of fervent and prevailing prayer.

Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

– She asked a specific prayer – give me a male child. Not an anemic, broad prayer, but a specific prayer of her need.

– And she made a promise, she would not keep the child, but give him back to the Lord. Remember, Elkanah was a Levite. Levites were required to serve in the Tabernacle from age twenty-five to fifty. Hannah promised to give the child for a lifetime of service.

– As Hannah prayed for a child – a new era was about to begin. Sometimes the reasons for our trials are not evident. But we have to trust that God has a plan, and He is acting on that plan.

Now Eli, the priest kept his eye on Hannah.

As Hannah spoke, her lips moved, but no voice was heard, for she spoke in her heart. All the while, Eli watched. He began to form an opinion of this woman based on his preconceived idea of how one was to behave in the Tabernacle.

During this time, prayer was always spoken out loud.

So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”

But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”

Hannah poured out her soul. This was more than just saying a prayer. She emptied herself before the Lord until she was utterly spent. She gave it all to God, nothing was left which was not given.

Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”

And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So then Hannah went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

– Did you get that? She went, and ate, and she was no longer sad.

She left her burden before the Lord. She did not pick it up and take it with her. She left it there, though there was no actual evidence that her prayer had been answered.

– she experienced God’s peace

How often we carry away with us anxiety and grief

But she believed that God would take care of it.

 

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24

 

The Lord remembered Hannah. And she conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.”

-She remembered who gave her the child. He was a gift from God

Now it was time again for the trek to Shiloh, but Hannah refused to go, saying, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there forever.”

Elkanah could have prohibited Hannah’s vow (Numbers 30:10-15), refusing to leave his son at the Tabernacle, but he didn’t. In this he showed his great love and esteem for his wife, Hannah.

Now when she had weaned Samuel, she took him up with her, with her sacrifice, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh.

And the child was young.

– Children were usually weaned by the age of two or three. What a heartache that must have been. Yet Hannah was faithful to her promise, and gave Samuel to the Lord’s service, just as she had vowed.

Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.”

Remember me? Hannah gives Eli her testimony – she exalts God and praises Him for His gracious act toward her.

So they worshiped the Lord there.

they worshiped. Not just Hannah, but Eli too. A humble response in grateful acknowledgement of the majesty of God.

Every year, Hannah would make Samuel a little robe and take it to him.

– I can just see Hannah working on this robe anticipating the time she would see her son again. Even when our children are no longer under our roof, our concern for them is not over.

Yet, that is not the end of the story, for gracious is our Lord, who gives in full measure, abundant and overflowing!

And as Samuel ministered before the Lord, the boy grew and became a king maker. Under his guidance, the nation returned to the worship of the One True God. The fractured tribes became a united nation of one people. Samuel became a great man of God.

And Hannah, she was not forgotten. Her womb was opened, and she was blessed with many children.

 

God is able to give us even more than what we ask. Eph. 3:20

 

What made Hannah a good mother?

– She was devoted to her husband.

Our relationship with our spouse has great influence on our children. This is one reason we are commanded to love the person we marry (Ephesians 5:28; Titus 2:4). We demonstrate our obedience to God when we love our mate. But not just the feeling of love, but love in action, love in deed, love in words.

 

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18

 

Through our interaction with our spouse, we are teaching our children how to relate to one another.

 

-She was devoted to her God

When Hannah prayed, she did not pray for men to hear – remember, she prayed silently, only her lips moved, but no voice was heard. She knew that Elkanah, her husband, was not the source of children…

– God was the source

From the depths of her soul, Hannah spoke to God.

Both, Elkanah and Hannah had a deep faith in God. They genuinely believed and expressed their devotion to the Lord through their actions. Theirs was more than a feel good experience. They laid it all bare for all to see – they were completely in love and devoted to each other, and to God.

We are admonished to bring up our children in the way they should go. With this command, we are given a promise.

 

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

 

Our children are often left without direction to find their way in a world that thinks they don’t need God.

Faith in God is not enough. If we want our children to believe in God and to live a life that is pleasing Him, we must model it to our kids.

The Lord redeemed a nation through one man.

– He can do it again

One individual has the power to shape a nation, or even change the world – and that persons owes a debt to their mother. Who knows – it may be your child.

Happy Mother’s Day,

~ Susan