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Anna and Hannah and Mary - Daily Treasure - March 21

A Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope: Anna and Hannah and Mary

By Sharon W. Betters

TODAY’S TREASURE

Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." And then the angel left her. -Luke 1:38 NLT

Anna, Hannah, and Mary joined us on our Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope and left us with much to process. Each woman faced shocking challenges that could have left her hopeless and shattered. Yet each woman schools us with the way she responded to the pathway on which God placed her.

Anna reacted to the death of her husband by running to the church where she prayed and fasted twenty-four hours a day. We imagined her as the woman every pastor wishes was part of his congregation. She’s the older woman who comes alongside struggling mothers to encourage them children are a gift from God and they are not alone in this parenting journey. Single or newly widowed women saw in Anna a role model who, no matter the circumstances, had purpose and they could experience joy again as well. Anna’s auto-response to tragedy was to surrender to God’s purposes and live a life fully dedicated to serving Him.

Anna’s Old Testament sister Hannah wrestled to submit to God withholding children from her. Her sister-wife Peninnah poured salt into the wound of her empty womb every year during the family’s annual trip to worship God. Years passed before Hannah experienced relief and the desire of her heart when she gave birth to her son. Hannah struggled to respond in a godly way to the unending taunts of her sister-wife and the constant reminder God had closed her womb. Yet, she did not give up public or private worship in order to avoid Peninnah’s scathing life-taking words. Hannah’s auto-response was to worship and also to wrestle with God’s purposes, without fear of His rejection.

Perhaps Mary’s response to the earth-shattering news she would bear the very Son of God, even though she had never “known a man”, best summarizes the auto-response of Hannah and Anna to their life crises as well:

Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." And then the angel left her. -Luke 1:38 NLT

I love how Mary ran to her cousin Elizabeth, who was experiencing her own miracle pregnancy. Mary’s song, known as The Magnificat, seems to flow from her time with Elizabeth. There are so many similarities between Mary’s Song and Hannah’s Song that I wonder if Elizabeth and Mary sang Hannah’s Song as they reveled in the unfathomable mystery surrounding their pregnancies and the love of their God.

I see a “mission statement” in the words of Mary’s response to the angel. Mary’s mission was to serve the Lord no matter what His calling. Her circumstances became her platform for glorifying Him. Years before Mary was born, Hannah uttered similar words in her song after the birth of her son, Samuel. Similarly, Anna demonstrates by her life, that her calling was to view her circumstances as her platform for glorifying God.

Take Anna, Mary, and Hannah along with you today and allow their lives to speak into yours. Each one offers teaching moments that encourage us to fall deeper in love with Jesus, trusting Him to fill our hearts with a song of praise, as we surrender each moment of our days to Him.

PRAYER

Oh Lord, Your love astounds us and we are so grateful for the lives of our sisters, Hannah, Anna and Mary. Thank you for how they responded to life crises that could have destroyed them. Instead, their lives help us focus on seeing our own circumstances as a platform for glorifying You.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a nonprofit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children, and fourteen grandchildren.

For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.