1 Samuel 2:1-10; Genesis 21:1-21; Galatians 4:21-5:1
Every holiday season, my family would put together a puzzle. It took time and patience, but in the end, together we created a beautiful picture. Each of our lives can be a part of God’s big picture puzzle. Fortunately, we don’t have to know how it all fits together because God does! Our responsibility is to draw near to God and to align our lives with Him by following His plan and timing.
As followers of Christ, we are his children; and by our faith, we have a promise of eternal life through Jesus. God has so many promises for his beloved children! Abraham and Sarah had been promised offspring. Yet, after years and years of actively waiting with no results, they took matters into their own hands. Abraham had a son, Ishmael, born to him by their slave woman, Hagar. Ishmael was born due to Abraham and Sarah’s lack of faith and their attempt to help God’s will be accomplished. Isaac, born of the promise, represents God’s grace; and Ishmael, born of the flesh, represents the law (trying to receive the promise by way of one’s own action).
Because Ishmael mocked Isaac, Hagar and her son were sent away so they would not share in the inheritance. People who live by faith will be mocked and persecuted by those who are enslaved by their own fleshly desires. When you are trusting God for a promise, it doesn’t always make sense in the natural. Something Hannah, Sarah, and I all have in common is unexplained bareness. Although these women’s promises have been fulfilled, my own faith, strength and patience are growing while I wait for fulfillment. Like Hannah prayed in 1 Samuel 2:1a, “My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong.” In my weakness of waiting, I have experienced the strength of the Lord beyond measure!
We see in these passages that barren women have a special place in God’s plan! Hannah yearned for a child. Her prayers were answered, and the first son she bore, Samuel, was the prophet who anointed King David, who was in the family line of Jesus the Messiah. Hannah is part of the story and prophecy of the Messiah’s coming: “He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one” (1 Samuel 2:10b, NLT). Israel did not have a king at this time; she was looking ahead to the Messiah.
Sarah became the mother of Isaac and also became part of the family line of Jesus.
Each of these sons: Isaac, Samuel, and our Messiah Jesus –
All were promised sons.
All were miracles.
All were born after a time of delay.
All were given names of valuable meaning.
All were born at God’s appointed time.
All brought great joy.
We are all a piece of a much bigger puzzle in God’s big picture plan! As children of the promise, we can truly experience freedom in Christ!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your love, promises, and for allowing me to become your child and share in your inheritance. In my weariness of waiting, let me draw near to your heart, so I may experience your freedom to rejoice in who you are and not what you can give! May my story be a testimony of your miraculous power in your big picture plan; let more people know you because of my growing faith during my wait. Amen!