By Judy Brandon: Local columnist
During this week of Thanksgiving, another woman Bible character is an excellent example for all women.
Why? She is not known for her Thanksgiving meals nor is she known for an immaculate house and entertaining in the most impressive way.
She is known for something far greater. She was obedient because of a heart full of thankfulness. She was one who asked God to answer her prayer and she promised God something in return. Then, she actually carried through with the promise she made God.
Some people make commitments to God when in difficult situations and then as soon as the pressure is off and life returns to normal, they forget their promises to God and go back to living and thinking as usual. Not Hannah of the Old Testament.
Hannah is often thought of as an example of faithfulness and dedication. However, I tend to view her as one who was thankful to God … so much so that she kept her word to God.
God gave her the greatest blessing of her life, a son, and as a result, she gave back to God that same son.
How could that be?
Hannah wanted a child and went to the temple time after time to pray to God to give her child. She prayed God would give her a son.
I am sure she had come to the point of giving up. Yet, one day she was in the temple praying so intently and crying so hard that Eli, the priest, noticed her.
The Bible says that “in bitterness of soul, Hannah wept much and prayed.” (1Samuel 1:10) Then Eli noticed her praying and her lips were moving but sounds were not coming out of her mouth. Eli thought she was drunk. She said, “No I am not drunk — I am deeply troubled.” Then Hannah told Eli her problem — that she wanted a child.
God answered her prayer and sometime later, a baby boy was born to Hannah and her husband Elkanah. Hannah named him Samuel. And just as she had committed to God, when he was old enough, she took him to the temple and gave him in dedication to God. He was to help the old priest Eli.
So Samuel grew up in the temple, learning at Eli’s feet, ministering to Eli and listening to the will of the Lord.
Samuel grew up to be a mighty man of God, a prophet, a judge, and an intercessor for God, and the commissioner of King David.
All because of what a mother did out of a thankful heart that gave back to God in gratitude.
I speak from experience. Too many times promises are made to God. In the desperate times of our lives, when things seem to be going downhill, and we have needed some peace and comfort, we have cried out to Him, just like Hannah did. Then when things in our lives get better, we forget and go until the next crisis, when we call on God again. Nothing in our lives ever changes. That is far from gratitude
In these fast moving times when decisions and activities and so many other things vie for our attention, contemplate on the thought that God is the source of all life’s blessings. “In Him we live and breathe and have our being.” (Acts 17: 27)
It is only with His permission we take our next breath. That thought in itself should make us grateful to God this Thanksgiving.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: