|The Big Picture|
|by Monica MacDonald OLM, Slamannan Parish Church, Falkirk Presbytery|
|God’s gracious response can be seen flowing out from the childless Hannah’s petitions as she is blessed with the birth of a son she names Samuel. Hannah’s greatest desire in life was to give birth to a child. She trusted God. She understood that only He could fulfil her deepest hunger so she brings her petitions to God and God answers her fervent prayer.
Then Hannah does something many mothers would struggle to do. She rests in her own vow to God. We find no anxiety in her mother’s heart – rather we find an upwelling of grateful thanksgiving after she leaves her son, her gift from God, in the Temple in the care of the priest Eli.
Hannah did not lose her son – she gained much more than she asked for – she gained a confidence in God. He had heard her prayers, he had blessed her!
Like Hannah, we too can have confidence in God to bless us; to hold our very lives in his hands. We pray, God answers, and we respond. God’s plan for us, his direction, our service, our thanksgiving. That is the big picture.
Hannah’s praise and thanksgiving are an act of joyful worship which expresses her confidence in God’s sovereignty: “My heart rejoices in the Lord,” (verse 1) “There is no one holy like the Lord… there is no Rock like our God” (verse 2).
In our ever-changing world it is difficult to find something solid to hold onto. Hannah’s expression of God as a Rock – firm, strong, unchanging, always present, is a lesson for us that if we look at the bigger picture, at the whole love and grace of God, we will find in Him the joy and the peace we are seeking.
We give you thanks for this life and all its blessings –
for simple joys; for laughter; for tears,
We give you thanks for your protection around us
We thank and praise you Lord God
for trials that teach us to trust in you.
In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.
|1 Samuel 2: 1 – 10|
|1 Then Hannah prayed and said:
‘My heart rejoices in the Lord;
2 ‘There is no one holy like the Lord;
3 ‘Do not keep talking so proudly
4 ‘The bows of the warriors are broken,
6 ‘The Lord brings death and makes alive;
‘For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
‘It is not by strength that one prevails;
‘He will give strength to his king