"In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, 'LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.'

When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, 'After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always.'

'Do what seems best to you,' her husband Elkanah told her. 'Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word.' So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, 'Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.' And he worshiped the LORD there." - 1 Samuel 1:10-11, 21-28

The first chapter of 1 Samuel is the story of the great prophet Samuel's mother, Hannah. In the ancient world, having children was crucially important. Hannah despaired of having no children. She offered sacrifices at the place of worship at Shiloh. She begged for a boy, promising that she would give him back to God to be a Nazarite, a consecrated one. Hannah had a son. When he was about two, she gave him to the priest at Shiloh. She gave him back to God forever.

Think about two things: 1) Hannah's desperate longing for a child; and 2) her complete relinquishment to God of the child for whom she had yearned for years. Read the story again.

How could she do it? Surrender of your dearest dream is a thread that runs through the Bible. Think of Hannah and Samuel, of Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, and what about the death of Christ on the cross. These are heartbreaking stories of surrender and of trust in God.

Surrender is giving up your greatest hope, letting go of control, handing over what you would most like to hold on to. Surrender is one of the deepest ways God works. Have you surrendered to the Lord? Talk with God about surrender, and then give your life to Him.

Lord Jesus, thank You. All I have is Yours. All I am is Yours. Help me to surrender to You. Amen.
Oct 21 2017