In 1998, when my beloved father lived with me in my small, two-bedroom apartment very sick of lung cancer, life was truly hard. He and my mother traveled from our hometown in the province to seek medical help from specialists. This was also the time that I was struggling with the chemicals business I had put up only ten months earlier. I had turned a portion of my living room into an office and given my bedroom to my father for this was more spacious and airy.
There were cousins who would come to assist my mother in caring for my father all day, while I went out to work, visiting clients. Everyday, our hearts were heavy and the mood in my apartment was generally gloomy. This was a time when I hadn’t yet surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
To combat the pervasive sadness in my apartment, I wrote to my older sister and implored her to send her then 4-year-old daughter to us to help cheer up our beloved parents, and me too, since the challenges my fledgling business brought and the burden of caring for my sick father were bearing down heavily upon me. (I was still single then).
She sent her right away and my apartment sure lit up with her effervescent presence. She made her grandfather laugh heartily and stayed beside him when he was quiet and not feeling good. I brought her to the hospital when my father had to stay there for days and he was always happy to see her. I bought her clothes, food, and things to get herself busy most of the day and not miss her Mama too much. The generosity and unselfishness of my sister to lend her little daughter to us so far away from her sight and bosom (they lived in the province) stuck in my memory.
Which brings me now to an endearing story in the Bible that I have cherished ever since I was saved: the story of Hannah and her beloved son (1 Sam. 1-2). Hannah was inconsolable because she was barren, and her rival, the other wife of her husband, mocked her for she had borne many. Hannah prayed to God and begged Him to give her a son and she vowed that she would lend him to Him all the days of his life. (I had written a more detailed retelling of Hannah’s story in Powerful Prayers: Hannah).
God heard Hannah’s agonizing prayer and He gave her a son. After she had weaned her child, she brought him to the Lord at Shiloh and entrusted him to Eli the priest, as she had vowed to the Lord. She had waited for years to have a child, but now she had to leave him in the temple to serve the Lord to honor her vow. But Hannah’s unselfishness and sacrifice didn’t go unnoticed in the eyes of God. For when she and her husband returned to their home, God blessed her with more sons and daughters. Hannah was exceedingly glad that she poured out a song of praise to God.
…For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and lifts up. (1 Sam. 2: 3,7)
It is this same principle that I apply now with my children: lending them to the Lord through singing in the choirs in church. Hannah sings in the Children’s Choir while Tim sings in the Cherubims Choir. What’s more excellent than singing praises to God in His great congregation? I see God’s goodness in our life everyday and I know we can never repay it. Praising and giving glory to His name is the least we could do and we will not be stingy with it, by His grace.
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise. (Mat. 21:16)
And God is ever faithful to reward every earnest sacrifice offered to Him, and prospers and increases every endeavor geared for His kingdom. As He did with Hannah in the Old Testament, so He does with Hannah my daughter, blessing her with wisdom and she gets good grades in school. She received a silver medal in academic excellence last year and she will again receive a medal this year in their graduation and awarding ceremonies – to God be the glory! He answers our heartfelt prayers and gives our hearts’ desires, like my prayer for Hannah to learn the piano. Now, she’s presently enrolled in piano lessons and will have their recital in April. She plays the piano so well – a precious gift from the gracious God – and I only have Him to be grateful for!
Linked to Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Women Living Well, Women in the Word Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Walk With Him Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Teach Me Tuesday, Winsome Wednesday, Pink Saturday, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty, Better Mom Mondays, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home