The Best Plans are Planned Plans
I am the most dramatic person on the face of the Earth (clearly exhibited by that sentence). Internally, I'm optimistic. I genuinely want to believe the best and always have faith. There are times, though, when life, fear, and doubt get the best of me. I sometimes look at the situations that I'm in and can't imagine how it could be possible for my situation to get better, and I question what I have done wrong or what I could have done better.
One of my favorite narratives in the Bible is the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel. For some reason, I just relate to her. If you don't know the story, Hannah desperately wanted a child. She watched her husband have children with his second wife, and she was devastated and hurt by the fact that she could not conceive. Every year, Hannah and her husband, Eli, would go up to the temple to make a sacrifice. This particular year, while she was there, Hannah was inconsolable. She wept and prayed to God for a child. The priest saw her and thought that she was drunk. She explained that she was not drunk, but silently praying in her heart for a child. Samuel told her to go in peace and prayed over her, asking God to grant her her request.
Happy Ending: Hannah had a child, named him Samuel, and fulfilled her promise to God by allowing him to grow up in the temple with the priest.
I have always just glanced over the part that says Eli told her to ," Go in peace." In studying the original meaning of the word, I found out that it translates to completeness. So she went away from the temple complete, and she acted like it. The Bible says that she woke up the next morning and worshipped God, not seeing the immediate fulfillment of the promise, but having faith that it was on its way!
To be honest, there is something that I never understood about Hannah's story. I have always ignored the fact that it says that God shut Hannah's womb. It's kind of too much for my brain to handle, because God doesn't withhold good things, right?
As I was studying this passage, it dawned on me that God withheld the promise for a moment in order to establish a promise that would last for eternity and, ultimately, lay the foundation for Jesus. Withholding the promise allowed for the promise to get to the correct destination (the temple, where Samuel was nurtured and developed spiritually) in order to fulfill its purpose. Hannah's promise set up the greatest storyline in history. He had the privilege of anointing David, the ancestor of Jesus, as king. It was never Hannah's lack of prayer or the fact that she was a bad person. Her promise was delayed simply because God had a very good plan.
What is it that you're believing God for? Know that God has planned plans for you! The plans are good and filled with purpose. They are more than you could ask for or ever imagine. Don't be discouraged by what you can't see. God is up to something good, and it has your name written all over it.