Monday, August 1, 2011

Bring on the multiplication

1 Samuel 2:20-21 
    And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, May the Lord give you children by this woman for the gift she asked for and gave to the Lord. Then they would go to their own home.
    And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she bore three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.

So again, just a little background here:

Hannah was barren, prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered her prayer. She gave birth to a son and named him Samuel. When she weaned him, she took him to Eli the priest, to be raised up before the Lord. 
We learn in these two verses above that she later had FIVE more children. FIVE!! From none to six children...this woman was barren, and mocked for years. Tortured, looked down upon, an outcast, and considered less of a woman. I couldn't overlook what an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness to Hannah this was! This is truly amazing! I am positive that for years Hannah struggled with believing that God was good. That He was faithful and that His love for her was as deep and wide as it truly is. Surely she doubted his plans for her life. 

This was a very heavy section for me, as the Lord has asked me what are the things in my life that I long for the most? What are the things that haunt me? What things has the enemy of my soul used to shame me, and, to doubt the goodness of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? 

Immediately the lies began to overflow into my thoughts as rushing water being poured out. All the lies that I hear, take in, believe, and eventually come into agreement with...

-You will never be pretty, you're lucky anyone loves you at all. But can you keep him? You will never be happy. 
-You will never be good enough, there are so many people out there better than you. 
-You aren't smart enough, what do you have to offer? You are a screwup and a drop-out.
Just to name a few...
(I wonder if Hannah ever felt this way, or heard lies like these?) 

So what are the things that I long for?
-A healthy marriage that can withstand the temptations of this world, and flourish!
-Health and beauty, confidence in who I am and appreciating that without comparing myself to other women
-To be able to contribute to this world in a way that matters far beyond what I could accomplish on my own, without the Spirit of God living in me

As I confessed these desires to God, He began to whisper to me the most beautiful promises... 

"If you will bring to me your heart and obedience, one step at a time, I will multiply that which you give me. Hand your husband over to me and I will make your marriage the sweetest time in your life. I will repay you for time you both have lost and you will reap a harvest greater than you can imagine.
I will show you the beauty that I have planted inside of you. The strength and beauty of my Spirit dwelling in you will heal your emotions, your hurts, and your vision.
The plans that I have for you are far beyond your wildest dreams. All it takes is a heart that says yes to me above all things, and you taking one step at a time."

After sitting in complete and utter disbelief that any of this could be true for me, I just began to praise God that it isn't up to me. It doesn't matter what I believe I deserve, or what I believe what I am worth. I just have to believe that God is who He says He is, and, He will do what He says He will do. I learned that when I present my offering to Him with the right heart attitude, He will surely bring the multiplication!

Can I get an Amen??

I thank you Jesus for those who have gone before us, and left a testimony behind to encourage us when our faith wavers. Thank you Lord that you were bigger than their circumstances and you are bigger than mine. I know that I can trust you because the Bible is full of people just like me. Human in every way and living in a world riddled with sin. Yet, you Lord are also the same. Yesterday, today, and forever. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. Thank you for your promises spoken over my life. I love you Jesus, and I praise you! In Jesus' almighty name, Amen.