Feeling the Pain Of Hannah!


If you know the story of Samuel, you know that his mother’s name was Hannah. Found in the first chapter of Samuel is the heart wrenching story of how Hannah was barren, unable to have children. In her desire to be a mother she prayed mightily to the Lord to give her  a son. If He so blessed her she promised,  “I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life…” (1 Sam. 1:11)  The Lord heard her prayers, blessed her with a son, Samuel, who she later gave to the priest to be raised unto the Lord. I am sure that it was heartbreaking to give up her son to be raised by the priests. I am sure there were nights when Hannah ached to hold her young son in her arms. Yet, she kept her covenant with the Lord.

Many years ago my wife and I were pleased when our son chose to serve a full-time mission for the church. The length of service is for two years, during which you never see them. I myself, had spent two years away from friends and family while serving a mission in Argentina more than 25 years ago. And although I loved the time I spent serving among the people, those two years seems like twenty to a young man of my age.

And so it was that the day arrived that our son left. My wife and I joyfully watched as his plane lifted off and disappeared into the horizon.  He was serving the Lord and that was a wonderful thing to be doing.  That night, we both laid in bed and stared at the ceiling. Now our son was gone and he wouldn’t return for two years. Our joy was full, but our nest felt a lot emptier now that he was gone.   For a moment I thought, “I have been wanting my son to be worthy and serve the Lord all his life. Yet, now that the time has come and it is a reality, I miss him and cannot imagine that I will not see him for two long years.  My wife felt the same way. And though it was not of the sacrificial magnitude of the consecration of Samuel, for that moment, we felt the pain of Hannah.

And so it is that hundreds of thousands of parents have experienced, to some small measure, the same pains.  The giving up of a son or a daughter to the Lord for a period of time always requires some sacrifice.  Is it worth it? It is recorded that Hannah rejoiced (1 Samuel 2:1), but more importantly, the scriptures reveal that the Lord called upon Samuel and he responded, “Here am I”, (3:8)

Could any parent be more blessed than to hear a son or daughter respond, when called upon by the Lord, “Here am I!” And that is what happens when a son or daughter goes forth unto the world testifying that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the World. No greater call can come to a man or women than that. So, despite the pain, we rejoice and praise God, that He has called out their name,  and they have responded that they are both worthy, and willing to serve.

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