Photo by Charles Deluvio.
And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, If you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and forget your servant, but will give your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life and no razor shall touch his head.” 1 Samuel 1: 11
This was Hannah’s prayer to God. She desperately wanted a child. She had been barren for a long time. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her because the Lord had closed her womb. 1 Samuel 1: 6
We are told God had closed her womb…
It’s funny because in Hebrew Hannah means “favor” or “ grace”, but when we look at Hannah’s circumstances she doesn’t look very favored.
I’m sure there are a million times Hannah asked God for a child and the answer remained No. But something changed in Hannah and in the way she prayed. She asked for a son so she could give him back to God, and when she did her womb was opened.
When Hannah’s prayers changed so did her circumstances. Her yes to God was a surrender to God’s will and plan.
Your yes of surrender to God will lead you to answered prayers.
Maybe you’re like Hannah; you’ve been going around the same mountains with no results. Maybe you have gone to interview after interview with no job in sight and you feel exhausted. Maybe you’ve been praying for a spouse for what seems like forever without an answer. It feels like God is silent. Maybe you have been praying for a dream that doesn’t seem to materialize.
But as we look at Hannah’s story we see something stand out. God wasn’t saying no to Hannah just to jest and tire her out. He wasn’t begrudging her a child. He was looking for something from her. He wanted a priest from Hannah. And until Hannah saw things from God’s perspective she was going to be childless.
God said of Samuel, I will raise for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house and they will minister before my anointed one always. 1 Samuel 2:35 Through Hannah, God was looking for a faithful priest, and a generation of priests to minister to the kings of Israel.
God wanted from Hannah, more than a child. He wanted a faithful generation of priests to do His will.
Sometimes our no’s are God’s way of leading us to a greater yes. God required a mother to partner with him on earth to raise a faithful priest for Him. And He chose Hannah; in hindsight, Hannah was already favored.
Maybe you’re not getting a job is because God wants to lead you to start a business for His glory. Or God is leading you to a job that you would never pursue without Him and in your own strength and ability. Maybe you’re still single because God is waiting for your yes to build him a marriage that raises a generation for His kingdom. maybe your no in that dream is because God is leading you to a greater dream that will fulfill his purposes on the earth through you.
Sometimes we can get stuck on the No. We can stay stuck in our disappointment that we forget to ask God, “What am I missing?” “What is it you are trying to tell me in this?” And we’ll find out that the minute we say yes to what God is asking of us, our answers will come.
A few things to remember:
Sometimes, no is God’s protection. Because we cannot see what’s ahead, God in His wisdom will tell us no to protect us. Because the things we want are so dangerous for us, God will protect us with a no.
Sometimes, no is God’s preparation. God will take His time in preparing us for the things He wants us to do. Sometimes, we go through the waiting and the refining angry and mad not knowing it’s for our good that He is doing it. If God would give us the things we are praying for before preparing us, we would be destroyed. Some things are so weighty….so glorious that they will require a certain level of character to carry them.
Sometimes, a no is because God has a greater yes ahead. Just like Hannah, God has a better yes for you. But, if you enter through that door you might never get to the better yes. So he lets the doors bang in our face to change the direction and the course of our lives.
Hannah would have been happy raising just an ordinary son. However, she ended up in the Bible because she raised a faithful priest for God. God wouldn’t let her settle, and God will not let you settle for anything less than what He has planned for you.
Sis, don’t give up, don’t get weary of hearing no. Shake off the dust, keep praying, and go again until you find the yes that God has for you! God has so much more in store for you than you can see. He is just waiting for you to see it through the eyes of faith. He is waiting for you to lay hold of it through prayer and patience.
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