“Hannah said, I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD’” 1 Sm. 1:27-28
I can relate to St. Hannah in many ways. In fact, my daughter is named after her. Before we adopted our daughter, my husband and I spent lots of time praying special novenas, lighting candles, and petitioning patron saints of infertility to intercede. Like St. Hannah, I was often upset, crying out to God for a child. When my request was finally granted, I felt incomparable happiness.
You might relate to St. Hannah in a different way. Perhaps you’ve prayed for something major in your life, like a job, healing, or a new relationship. You, too, probably felt extreme joy if that request was granted.
When we parallel St. Hannah’s story with our own, we might look at her decision to offer her son Samuel back to the Lord as a foolish one. We may feel sorry for her and even think of her decision as counterintuitive. Why would she “give away” the very child she prayed so fervently for?
Perhaps we feel this way because we forget the second half of the story, what became of Samuel and Hannah. Samuel became a prophet and played an important role in salvation history, choosing David as the King of Israel. Scripture also tells us that God favored Hannah and she conceived five more children!
God’s goodness is a constant. If only we could attain a little of St. Hannah’s “foolishness” and trust Him more! The challenge is to trust, not in hopes of personal gain and greatness, but rather to trust because God has already lavishly given us so much. What if our trust was a direct result of being his beloved? For when we are in the depths of His love, it is completely rational to trust Him “foolishly”!
Take a moment to think about the “Samuel” in your life. What is God challenging you to give back to Him? Do you trust in His goodness?