1 Samuel 2:18-21
18 But Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would go home. 21 And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
This is a beautiful passage about Samuel set in stark relief against the sons of Eli. We see a precious glimpse of the care of his mother toward him as they make their yearly visit to offer sacrifice to the Lord. I imagine the robes being sown and worn with much love, through the years. But there is another beautiful narrative within this story, the blessing of Elkanah and Hannah, Eli’s prayer for God to bless them with more children and the graciousness of God toward them, with a further five children.
I love the way that God weaves stories within stories, with most of the answers to our prayers coming in ways we would never expect. The story of a barren woman’s silent desperate prayer to God for a child, and in the chapters to come, the answered prayer, Samuel, who is growing up ministering in the presence of the Lord, and how he is then woven into the leadership of the nation and ultimately anointing a king who’s lineage will culminate in Jesus.
I see this small paragraph as an encouragement to us to never think that God does not hear or answer our silent desperate prayers. He hears, and He weaves the answers together in ways that we could never imagine. What an amazing God we serve.
Written by Suzie Hodgson