Hannah was a good woman who loved God. But she was sad, for she
had no children. Each year, her husband took her to a place called
Shiloh, where they worshiped God. And each year, Hannah prayed a
special prayer that God would give her a child. One year, she
prayed, "Dear God, if You will only give me a son, I will give him
back to You, to serve You all his days." She prayed so hard her
mouth moved, but no words came out. A priest asked if she was
drunk. "No," she said. "I'm pouring my heart out to God."
"May you find favor in God's eyes," said the priest.
The following year, Hannah couldn't make the trip to Shiloh with
her husband because God had answered her prayers. She had a new
baby boy named Samuel!
She happily cared for Samuel until he was old enough to Ave her.
Then she kept her promise to God, and took Samuel to live with the
priests in Shiloh. It wasn't easy for her to say good-bye, but
each year she made him a special robe to wear as he served God.
God gave Hannah many more children. And Hannah was leased to know
that Samuel was growing up in Shiloh, where he would love and
serve God always.
Hannah desperately wanted a son. She even promised that if God gave her a baby boy, she would dedicate him to doing the LORD's work. And God heard her prayer. It must have been difficult for Hannah to keep her promise, but she did by presenting Samuel to Eli the priest.
Hannah was not just giving her baby away, though. She stayed in close contact with Samuel. But she did let go of Samuel and gave him back to God. As a result of her faithfulness, the LORD gave Hannah more sons.
It's easy to get "sticky-fingered" with the gifts God gives to us. We want to hold onto them, keeping them for ourselves. But, like Hannah, when we give God that which is most precious to us, we can trust him with it. And God always gives back much more!