Friday, January 05, 2007

214 - Burn the Bitterness, I promise

Holy God - It has rained a lot and been kind of grey. Please bring us some sunshine. It really has not even been that cold. The girls have enjoyed our walks to the post office and Wonder Market. SJ wanted to run yesterday and so I wondered if people thought i was out running my 3 and 5 year old. They did well though, but on their account.

This morning's devotion really hit home. We are in I Sam. 1:9-18. This is great stuff and very convicting. First of all Hannah takes her bitterness straight to the Lord. She is very hurt and frustrated, and probably has nowhere else to turn nevertheless she does take her pain to the Lord. How many times do i take it to Clay or a friend first? Ugh - I know how wonderfully You can restore my heart, but for some reason i like to panic with a visible person - very fleshly, literally. I also love the fact that she does it right there in front of everyone. She is real and not afraid to show her hurt. Well, it may not be that she is not afraid, but did not remain fake in front of people. How cool - i know too many people that hide everything. There is a time to save the pain for home or private, but there is also a time to let it out and allow those around the opportunity to minister to you. One friend of mine had a miscarriage and never told a soul. At the time we knew she was dieing inside, but we had no clue how to minister and help her through it all. It was her choice and one that is her decision, but having already gone through a miscarriage myself I could empathise and encourage specifically. We as ladies have got to take down our shield and be real, be honest, and be vulnerable. It is OK, we will survive. If not anything else and yet the greatest of all, you will draw others closer to Him by being real and translucent. Others may think you are crazy for a time as Eli did with Hannah, but explaining our pain and not bottling it up will set you free.

After Hannah explained herself her countenance changed. We have to remember the order though. She cried out to the Lord and then talked it through with a "friend" or really just an authority. I had a situation since i have moved here with an old friend. I prayed it through and then talked it over with my friend Courtney. But fessing up my feelings and sin made it so much more freeing. Walking tall is so much better than living being tormented by bitterness in the heart. Lord, you are so amazing how You work and restore - my Redeemer. Incredible.

So now back to her prayer. This was a big time prayer. She promised God that if He gave her a son she would take care of it until it was time to release him to be trained for service. That means that she would nurse him until weening and then give him back to be raised by the church. Can you believe that? The most prized possession she is asking for and then being willing to give him back. Wow - I am not sure i could be so faithful. But the promise, she kept it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is the kicker! I have made many promises and not kept them once the prayer is answered. How terrible, but then again how gracious of our Lord to keep blessing and hanging in there with me. I would have thrown me to the curb a long time ago.

I made a commitment to the Lord in reference to selling our house that i have not held up my end. In the shower last night the Lord reminded me of that. Is that not the coolest thing that keeping a promise and commitments is the very core of my devotion this morning. You are speaking loud and clear, Lord Jesus - I will respond!! Father forgive me for floundering and yes i can give You many excuses, but I know You had rather not go there. You know my heart any way.

Final thoughts - i found this is my Bible, I don't think it is my words - who knows... Hannah was setting herself up for success and her offspring. A leader is made by the product of providence, product of prayer, and product of purpose. That is our man Samuel, but it is our woman Hannah that did the grunt of it through our Lord. Wow - am i praying enough for my kids?

Going to the high school game tonight and then hanging with new friends, but have got to workout the sore muscles first - again. Should be a great time. I love you, Lord. I recommit my commitments to You. Sounds kind of funny!

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