What are you desperate for, and for what purpose?

Francis

I was pouring out my soul to the LORD…I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” (1 Samuel 1:15)
 
I’ve always believed that we shouldn’t be desperate for anything. I’ve often said just ask the Lord and allow him to do his will. This is because I also believe that the Lord knows our needs, as Jesus assured us, and that he wouldn’t want us to beg for his blessings or favour. Then I read the story of Hannah who in desperation sought a child from the Lord. The Bible talks about her anguish of heart when she petitioned him; so much so that Eli the priest assumed she was drunk (1 Samuel 1:14).
 
Why was Hannah so desperate for a child? Was it just so she could shut the mouth of her rival Peninnah? Very likely. Peninnah had been provoking Hannah because the latter had no children (1 Samuel 1:6-7). This grieved Hannah to the point where their yearly pilgrimage to Shiloh became a nightmare. Even her husband’s genuine love for her was not enough to soothe her heartache.
 
Or was there another reason that surmounted her desire to be a mother? Yes there was. When God answered her prayer and gave her a son, she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” Then she gave him back to the Lord.
 
This is the fundamental and underlining reason for her desperation, and the reason God held back for so long. Was Hannah so desperate for a child that when she had one they would be like a treasured property that she wouldn’t be willing to let him go? From the story we recognize that Hannah was like Job. She knew that the Lord gives and the Lord had the right to take. She was therefore more than willing to relinquish her hold on what she had been desperate to possess for the sake of honouring her God- the giver of all good and perfect gifts.
 
Now we must ask ourselves, how desperate am I for anything? Would it result in the anguish of my soul? Finally, if I should receive it what would my attitude be toward it? Abraham showed that he could trust God with his only son. In doing so, God rewarded his faith by giving his only Son, Jesus Christ for all humanity.
 
Whatever we anguished for, and are desperate to possess, may it be also what we will be willing to let go of for God and his Kingdom’s sake.

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