One of my favourite prayers in Scripture is Hannah's prayer (I Samuel 2:1-10). After a word of praise, the remainder of her prayer demonstrates a deep understanding of God's character:
- He is holy (v.2)
- There is none like him (v2)
- He is a rock (v.2)
- He is the God of knowledge (v.3)
- He shatters the bow of the mighty (v.4)
- He feeds the hungry (v. 5)
- He gives children to the barren (v.5)
- He has the power of life and death (v.6)
- He provides wealth (v. 7)
- He brings low; He exalts (v.7)
- He raises the poor, and lifts the needy (v.8)
- He guards the faithful and contends with the wicked (v.9-10)
As a mother myself, the fact that Hannah is a mother is never far from my mind. She is praying because she is about to take her child to the temple. Earlier, in chapter 1, she promised the Lord that if he gave her a child, she would return him to Eli the priest to serve the Lord.
Imagine struggling with years of infertility, and then taking your toddler to someone else to raise.
Hannah knew who God was; she knew she could trust Him. She needed to be able to trust him, because what she was about to do would require all the trust she could get. I have released three children from home to begin the path to independence. It was very difficult each time, but it was nothing like Hannah's situation. We here in the 21st Century have technology galore to enable us to keep in contact with our children. Hannah would not see Samuel every day, hold him, comfort him, and watch him grow. My situation is nothing compared to Hannah's.
Will I trust Him with my children?
If we don't know that we can trust God, we will struggle with releasing our children. Sometimes, our lack of trust may cause us to hold our children back, but we must not do that. Instead, we must continue to grow in the understanding of who God is, because if we know who He is, we will trust Him. Look at that list in Hannah's prayer. Yes, we can trust God! We are none of those things; we can trust Him more than we can trust ourselves.
My children are young adults, and they're all single. Their lives are full of decisions, plans, and intentions. There are times when I simply must close my eyes and wait to see what happens. To step in would rob them of a chance to learn about God's faithfulness for themselves, and it would rob me of an opportunity to trust Him.
In the past six months, I have seen just how faithful the Lord is to my children even when they don't see that it is His faithfulness that has brought them through. I have seen growth that can only have come at the hand of a faithful, loving God. Yes, I can trust God with my children. His word assures me of it, and circumstance bears it out.
Hannah could release Samuel because she knew the God she was entrusting Him to. If you feel uneasy about releasing your children, dig deep into the Word and learn about Him; you'll see He is most worthy to be trusted.