I've been reading through the first book of Samuel. I was struck again by the part where Hannah promised to dedicate her son Samuel (her first child after years of infertility) to the Lord. She vowed to handm over her little boy to be raised by the priest, Eli, so he could be trained to serve the Lord. I was struck by the faith, obedience, and stength of Hannah. This child whom she had longed for and begged God for...she then hands him back into the hands of the Lord so he can serve God.
What challenged me (and encouraged me) was that Hannah did a really hard thing...for the purpose of putting her son in the position to glorify God. She knew that he was God's first...and that an expression of her love for him (and HIM) was to dedicate her son to the Lord. Samuel was a great prophet for the Lord to the nation of Israel. He was able to be used by God in part because of the obedient actions of his parents. My hope is that the "hard parts" of living here will actually be putting our children in a position to glorify God in their individual lives in special ways because of their experience of being raised here in Nica. Like Samuel, they belong to HIM and HE has plans for them!