Ever want something so bad you wept over it? It consumes you. It envelops your thinking, your time, your energy, and sometimes your money. Guilty pleasures are often this way. They are not needs or necessities. They are just something you want so bad you ache for it. Like a kid in an ice cream store. Okay, like me in an ice cream store! You can taste it. You dream about it. You lose sleep over it. You plan and plead and plot.
Sometimes you get that decadent treat, all drippy and gooey, and after your first bite… brain freeze. Often, our strongest desires don’t end up being as tasty as they look. You are disappointed. Our brain has built up this desire so much that we can’t even live up to the potential we set for ourselves. Or others. Am I alone here? Surely not.
I’ve been reading about Hannah this week. Her desire for baby Samuel quickly took over. In fact, Eli thought she was a full-on drunk in the middle of the day. Crazy woman. Consumed. Even her hubby thought she was “overreacting” and getting too obsessed. “Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?” Those poor husbands. They try and fix things by helping. Sometimes we are more than they can handle. “Do what you think is best, dear.” That is all they can say.
I’m learning a hard lesson from Hannah. She gave up her most prized possession after finally getting it! Now, I’ve made this deal with God before. I promise I will use this or that for your ministry, Lord. If you only do this for me, I’ll “make it up to you”. Honestly, you and I both know that’s stinkin’ hard. Who wants to share the perfect ice cream cone? Hannah not only shared, but she also gave it away. With joy.
2 Hannah prayed:
I’m bursting with God-news!
I’m walking on air.
I’m laughing at my rivals.
I’m dancing my salvation.
2-5 Nothing and no one is holy like God,
no rock mountain like our God.
Don’t dare talk pretentiously—
not a word of boasting, ever!
For God knows what’s going on.
He takes the measure of everything that happens.
The weapons of the strong are smashed to pieces,
while the weak are infused with fresh strength.
The well-fed are out begging in the streets for crusts,
while the hungry are getting second helpings.
The barren woman has a houseful of children,
while the mother of many is bereft.
6-10 God brings death and God brings life,
brings down to the grave and raises up.
God brings poverty and God brings wealth;
he lowers, he also lifts up.
He puts poor people on their feet again;
he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope,
Restoring dignity and respect to their lives—
a place in the sun!
For the very structures of earth are God’s;
he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation.
He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step,
but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark.
No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle!
God’s enemies will be blasted out of the sky,
crashed in a heap and burned.
God will set things right all over the earth,
he’ll give strength to his king,
he’ll set his anointed on top of the world!
11 Elkanah went home to Ramah. The boy stayed and served God in the company of Eli the priest.1 Samuel 2 (Msg)
Oh beloveds, I am not there yet. Let’s encourage one another to be more like Hannah. Personally, I’ve still got ice cream dripping down my cheeks.