A promise fulfilled
Today’s Reading: Acts 3:24 (NIV)
24 “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.”
Samuel was quite the boy! Strong and inquisitive, he lived and served Eli the priest, in the temple of the Lord. His very life had been prayed into existence by an obedient and faithful mother, whose name was Hannah. For years, she could not conceive and give her husband a child; yet longed for this special blessing of God. Hannah would go to the temple year after year to weep and pray, vowing that if the Lord would fill her womb, she would give back her son to serve the Lord all of his days. Eli saw Hannah praying with great passion; he heard her petition, and offered up a special blessing asking God to grant her prayer. When her baby boy was born, Hannah and her husband returned to the temple for the child’s dedication, keeping her promise and leaving Samuel at the temple to Eli’s mentoring and care.
What would our world be like today if we learned to pray and trust God like Hannah did? Would we realize just how precious the gift of new life truly is? Our children are gifts from God. He loans them to us for a time, and as they begin to grow, we learn how to trust God all the more, opening our hands and hearts to His plan and purpose for their lives.
I sat in the sanctuary yesterday, a witness to His amazing promise fulfilled, as my friends James and Jen exchanged their marriage vows. I’ve known James now for nine years. When I first met him, he was a teenage boy, fighting to overcome the cancer attacking his young body. He had faced such adversity at such an early age; yet, his faith in Christ helped James overcome his physical infirmities. Yesterday was a miracle, a gift of God’s amazing grace, and I was a witness to the promise fulfilled. His bride was simply radiant as she walked down the aisle toward her love and the future they would share together in Jesus. I saw the fervent prayers of two mothers rise up toward heaven as the smoke rose from their family candles toward heaven. I praised God for His gift of new life.
In life, we learn how to pray the prayers that God gives us to pray. The Father has blessed us with a blueprint of what will one day become His new heaven and earth. The prophets, like the young boy Samuel, provide guidance and hope for all who are willing to trust and obey. The Father’s gift of His Only Son to save a lost and fallen world is by far, the very best present we will ever receive. His child is our Savior and Lord. The only hope for the salvation of the world is in Jesus Christ alone.
A new family emerged from the sanctuary. Two hearts are joined as one. We see the fruition of a lifetime of prayer and rejoice in the hope that comes from trusting in the One who holds our future. Can you see God’s grace written across the pages of your life? Will you trust Him enough to let go and pray the prayers He would have you pray? Are you willing to return the gifts you’ve been given?
Father, we come to you in the name your Son, Jesus Christ, and ask that your will be done in the lives of our children today. We thank you for your gift of new life and the hope that comes through loving and obeying you. Help us understand that before we held our babies in our arms, you held them in yours. Our children belong to you, Lord. We give them back to you today. When difficulties arise and we cannot see the future clearly, help us trust in your promises. Be our everlasting future and our hope, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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