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Letting go for more

By Jon Mar
May 7, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

1 Samuel 1:1-2:21
John 5:1-23
Psalm 105:37-45
Proverbs 14:28-29

There’s a popular method of how to catch a monkey with a coconut. If you make a small hole in a coconut chained to a tree and put food in there, a monkey will try to reach in to grab the food. Unfortunately, the hole is only large enough for his hand to go in, but too small if he tries to pull his hand out with food. The monkey won’t be able to pull his hand back out unless he gives up the food. Monkeys prefer to keep their grip on what's in front of them to their demise, instead of releasing their food for safety, trusting they will find their sustenance elsewhere.

1 Samuel 1 gives us the story of how Hannah asked God to give her a son. God had closed her womb and she suffered when Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, would provoke her till she would cry and not eat because Peninnah had sons and daughters and Hannah did not. One year, when they worshiped and sacrificed at Shiloh, she desperately pleaded to the Lord and made a vow to give her son to God if she was blessed with one. God remembered Hannah and she gave birth to Samuel. Hannah honored her word and gave Samuel over to Eli, the priest at Shiloh, for service to the Lord right after he was weaned.

The roller coaster Hannah must have experienced! From suffering in not having any children, breaking down to the point of making a vow to give her son to the Lord, to becoming pregnant, giving birth to Samuel, and giving him to God right after he was weaned. Hannah was such a strong and honorable woman. She kept her word and gave up the one thing she wanted for many years. She probably gave up the one thing that defined her as a woman at that time, being able to bear children. If we were to see Hannah as an example, what would we be willing to give up to God when finally attaining it after so much pain and toil? What would we let go of, especially when our human minds think what we possess may define us as a person?

At the end of the chapter 2, we are once again encouraged that our God is loving and good because Hannah ended up having 3 sons and 2 daughters after Samuel. We should not be surprised that God blessed her many times over for her faithfulness. God can close Hannah’s womb and open it when the time is right. He can also bless her with more than she asked for. Sometimes, even when we finally received what we were hoping for, we need to let it go for God to bless us with more. Like the monkey letting go of the food, we may need to prevent ourselves from getting caught so we have a chance at a better life. God will provide in His time and in ways that will be better than we can imagine.

Letting go for more,

Jon

To memorize:

The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.

— 1 Samuel 2:7-8a

Prayer to start with:

God, we praise You, We gather together to worship You,
to remember the goodness and unfailing love
You have shown toward us, Your people.

Time after time, You have come to our rescue.
Your love has sustained us through good times and bad.
No matter what we faced —
whether accident, illness, disappointment or death —
You were there, encouraging, strengthening, and blessing.

Even when we turned our back on You,
You didn’t abandon us,
but waited patiently for us to return,
ready to welcome us with open arms.

Because we have known Your love in the past,
we look to the days ahead without fear.
No matter how uncertain the future may seem,
we will continue to trust in Your unfailing love,
confident that You will guide us in the days ahead
as You have guided us in the past. Amen