"…Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none."
I Samuel 1: 2, Amplified Bible
"She Had - She Had Not"
"We mount to heaven mostly on the ruins of our cherished schemes."
A. B. Alcott
Is there something I don't have but I long for very badly in my life?
How has this situation affected the way I live my life from day to day?
"There is many a thing which the world calls disappointment, but there is no such a word in the dictionary of faith. What to others are disappointments are to believers intimations of the way of God."
"In my life's chain of events nothing was accidental."
If there's any text in the Bible I can relate to it is the passage of Scripture we are studying today. "Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none" (I Samuel 1: 2).
I am Hannah. For like her, I "had none."
I'll never forget the day the doctor delivered the somber news. I was only 25-years-old and after unexpected major surgery, I was told that having a child of my own would never, (yes, that was the word), be possible. And so, my young husband and I had to come to terms with a situation we'd never planned on, for like most young couples, we just assumed that someday, children would be part of our family and our lives.
I don't believe the shock of our reality hit me for several years. Most of our friends at the time didn't have children, either. But as the years passed by and I was invited to one baby shower after another, I found I had to face the hard, cold truth.
One day, I received a call from a physician friend who told me he was working with a group of about ten couples who were having problems conceiving and he said he wanted to ask a favor of Jim and me. "The two of you have adapted so well to the difficult situation you faced, I'm wondering whether you would come and talk to these couples," he inquired?
My immediate thought was, "absolutely not!" I was having a lot harder time than he could have imagined living with the everyday reminders of what I did not have. However, Jim and I talked about it and decided to go to the group meeting, and how thankful I am, even to this very day.
What an eye-opener - and it wasn't just an education for us on whether or not a person could or could not have a child. It was one of those times in life when you learn a lot more. What we learned was that when we live our lives focusing on what we don't have, it may eventually blind us to all we do have. There were couples in the room that evening who had allowed their inability to have a child to completely tear them apart. While they had each other - that now turned out not to be enough. While many of them had wonderful families - it wasn't enough.
As I left that group meeting on a warm summer evening, I'll never forget saying to myself, "I refuse to live my life in a pit of lack no matter what the future holds."
While I would have loved to have had a baby, physically I couldn't and all other efforts to adopt just didn't work out, either. One day, Jim and I sat down and really talked through our predicament and I'll never forget what Jim said, "Maybe God's plan for our lives is something different. Maybe we ought to stop comparing ourselves to others and instead look at what God wants for us."
The great prayer warrior, George Müller noted, "If our circumstances find us in God, we shall find God in our circumstances." I can certainly testify to this fact in my own life!
Author Mary Webb penned these words many years ago, "The well of Providence is deep. It is the buckets we bring to it that are small." Let's you and I make a promise to each other, that we will never come to our Father with small buckets. Heaven's Providence overflows in such bountiful ways that even during the times of our lives when it appears we are missing out on what we long for the most, God's going to surprise us with something tremendous, and we had better come prepared to receive a massive outpouring for our biggest buckets will be so full we'll have enough not only to fill us up - but there will be plenty spilling over into the lives of everyone we meet.
"While providence supports,
Let saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guide His children well."
"Wilt Thou not visit me?
The plant beside me feels Thy gentle dew,
and every blade of grass I see
from Thy deep earth its quickening
Wilt Thou not visit me?
Thy morning calls on me
with cheering tone;
And every hill and tree
lend but one voice - the voice
of Thee alone.
Come, for I need Thy love,
more than the flower,
the dew or grass the rain;
Come, gently as Thy holy dove;
And let me in Thy sight
rejoice to live again.
I will not hide from them
when Thy storms come,
though fierce may be their wrath,
but bow with leafy stem,
and strengthened follow on
Thy chosen path."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at discount for your Women's Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please call: 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.