“And she vowed a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.’” — 1 Samuel 1:11
A dedicated woman can be a joy to the soul; a nagging one is a pain in the neck! Elkanah, who had two wives, hardly knew what to do to preserve peace in his home. Hannah, the favorite wife, was childless; and, realizing that fact, Penninah taunted, nagged and probably made Hannah furious.
Hannah had asked God to give her a son, and each time her request was denied. Ultimately, Hannah became desperate and distraught. In her darkest crisis, she called out to the Lord and “Prayed to the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of host, if you will…give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life.”
Then God smiled and said, “At last!” Hannah desired a son to prevent the nagging of her rival; God was looking for a man to save a nation from destruction. When Hannah exhibited total surrender, her prayer was granted instantly. The Lord was very wise. His delay in Hannah’s life was intended to produce His messenger!
Desperation was an absolute necessity in producing the surrender required to bring about the deliverance of a straying people. Apart from a crisis, we are unwilling to open up ourselves completely to the work of the Lord in our lives. Delay develops dependence. We often will not trust God until there is nothing else to trust in.
Could it be that God’s delay in your life is His way of developing desperation? Is His slowness in working in your situation producing a surrender that you would never have considered before? God’s desire is to change our world through someone who is completely surrendered to Him. Dwight L. Moody heard a preacher say, “The world is yet to see what God could do to a man, and in a man, and through a man who is totally committed to Him.” Moody accepted that challenge and God used him to shake two continents for Christ!
Is God’s delay in your life bringing you to the place of total surrender so that He can rock the world through you? I hope so. I hope so with me.