Hannah’s story can be found in the Bible (1 Samuel). In those days, men often had more than one wife. It was also considered a disgrace to be barren. Hannah was barren and she suffered the taunts of her husband’s other wife, who had children.
Hannah cried out to the Lord for a son, promising that if God answered her prayer, she would dedicate her son to the Lord’s service. I doubt that she fully realized what she was promising.
God did, indeed, bless her with a son: Samuel. That began Hannah’s internal struggle because keeping her promise would mean giving her son to the temple priest, Eli. One time, when she had been pouring her heart out to God, in prayer, Eli falsely accused her of being drunk. He also had wicked sons who “had no regard for the Lord.” (That wouldn’t give me much confidence in his parenting skills!)
Hannah wanted to wait until she had weaned her son (which, in those days, could be up to 3 years). Her husband agreed to that but said, “only may the Lord make good his word.” I believe her husband, Elkanah, was being patient and understanding with his wife, and allowing her time to go through the surrender process, but that he also recognized her female frailty and was reminding her of her vow. He probably prayed for her, being the committed man that he was.
And Hannah came through. She told Eli that the Lord had granted her what she had asked for and so “for his whole life he (Samuel) will be given over to the Lord.” Then she began her prayer with, “My heart rejoices in the Lord.” That’s faith!
God honored her faith. Despite being raised by Eli, Samuel became a mighty prophet, priest and judge to the nation of Israel.
No matter how old my children are, it’s never easy to entrust them into God’s care (even though I know He’s a far better parent than I am!) The “letting go” process is continual: their first day of school, when they begin to drive, when they move out, when they get married…and even when they’re on their own, the fervent prayers continue. I’m thankful for role models like Hannah, who entrust their children to God and praise Him in faith!