Don’t Miss It!

Heartbroken. That word might be the best way to describe Hannah in the Bible when year after year she couldn’t conceive a child. Crushed. Wondering why God hadn’t answered her prayers, devastated that she was being provoked by a woman who had what she wanted…

But in all her time of weeping and anguish (as the Bible describes it), she was perhaps missing that her husband gave her a “double portion because he loved her” (1 Samuel 1:5). He asked her, “Why are you weeping? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” This time as I read this story, this last question really stuck out to me. Perhaps it was the BSF teacher saying she felt bad for the woman irritating Hannah who was likely feeling unloved that it made me think more about the situation. Or perhaps it was recalling times this fall when I was feeling devastated… when in reality I should instead be giving thanks.

This wasn’t the first time over the last few weeks that this theme had come up as I was studying the Bible. In Ruth, when Naomi returned to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth, she told the women there, “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full but the Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:20). I always felt bad for Naomi – her husband and sons had died; she had a right to be bitter, right? But, the teacher this time asked, was she really empty? Was Ruth not standing right next to her? Ruth had pledged not to leave her side and took care of Naomi, yet Naomi was so focused on her hardships that she was perhaps missing the faithfulness and love of her daughter-in-law who was right next to her.

As I’ve experienced disappointing circumstances, I realize I am too quick to forget the many, many blessings I have. Can you relate? I focus too much on what I don’t have rather than what is right in front of me. For example, God has blessed me with a faithful husband who constantly shows me how much he loves me, wonderful kiddos who are funny and fun to be around, and so many sweet, sweet times together. I may want the “perfect” life where absolutely everything goes my way, but instead, I need to learn to give thanks in all circumstances. Not just the sweet times but also the bitter. When life feels down, I need to look up. Who is next to me? Who stands beside me? What is God working in the background on my behalf? Can I be content without what I *think* might be best and trust that what God has for me is even better?

If Hannah had conceived right away, she may have missed the miracle of having Samuel, who was known as an incredible prophet whose words God did not let fall to the ground. If Naomi wouldn’t have experienced the bitterness of losing her husband and sons, she would not have traveled back to Bethlehem and been part of the story and lineage of Jesus. Their tough times were really key to the greatest part of their stories…

So, don’t skip right to Christmas decorating and holly, jolly music and forget to give thanks… I mean really give thanks. Thanks for the little and the big things. Thanks for the sweet and even for the bitter. Thanks for the thing that is driving you crazy, trusting that God is working it all out for your good and His glory. Thanks for the person who is standing by your side to comfort you as you are going through the tough times. Thanks, even for the person irritating you… Only God knows the details of your story, but I believe He delights in the details of your life. He hasn’t forgotten your struggle. He hasn’t forgotten you. Only He knows how the story ends…

 

Dear God, thank You for the reminders in Your Word. Thank You that You are faithful and work all things for our good and Your glory. Please help us not neglect our loved ones when we’re feeling sad about our circumstances. We give You our hearts and our lives and trust You and Your timing in all situations. Thank You for being trustworthy. In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: