Then she made a vow: Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, if you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain, if you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me by giving me a son, I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you. I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.
(1 Samuel 1:11 MSG)
I once heard a message about how difficult it must have been for Hannah to give up her only child, Samuel. But a closer look at her situation reveals why Hannah had to give up the son she had asked for (thus the meaning of the name Samuel) in the first place. Hannah was barren, so her husband, Elkanah, married another woman, Peninnah, who bore him children. We’re told that Elkanah loved Hannah more, but his actions sure spoke louder than his words. So every time the family went to the house of worship, Peninnah would taunt Hannah, until one year Hannah decided that she’s had enough. She makes a vow to God. If God would only give her a son, she would dedicate him to the service of the Lord. God honoured her request and the rest is history.
Remember that old saying, “Be careful what you wish for”? It applies just as much to prayer. Sometimes, God will give us what we ask for but not without teaching us the price we must pay for our request. If having a son to prove her worth as a woman and silence a rival wife was Hannah’s intention, she was successful. But in the end, she had to give up the son she had asked for. I’m not sure if that’s a price I’d be willing to pay.
Be careful what you ask for because when you pray for rain, you have to deal with the mud as well. -Denzel Washington