Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut. As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord …. And in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.” 1 Samuel 1:10-15, 20
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:1-5
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” John 9:1-5
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So, the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:1-4
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The course that Hannah took as described above is one that God wonderfully unfolded for her. As a result, Hannah got out of the pit she was in and she had the so-called “misfortune” of her barrenness removed. It is important to realize that there is absolutely no way to attribute anything on Hannah’s part for why she was barren. The bad events in the Luke and John passages above are unequivocally not tied to anything that was done by the people upon whom these misfortunes came. Yes, there can be consequences for the things that we do that are wrong. However, many of the difficult events that make up our lives are solely and surely God at work accomplishing His good purposes even through bad happenings. Like the farmer in our introduction, it is advisable to place a “maybe” after each life event (both good fortune and misfortune) as a reminder that we need to withhold judgment concerning the events of our lives because God is in charge and is not through yet in regard to how He will entirely work out and incorporate that event in the grand scheme of things. God is always at work. He loves to keep us out of the pit as we trust in Him and His sovereign and loving plan. We may not have a reversal of our so-called misfortune like Hannah did, but we always have the opportunity by God’s grace to stay out of the pit or to be lifted out of the pit. May God be merciful!
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I freely admit how prone I am to interpret the events of my life solely in human terms. Help me to always include you in the equation so that I recognize more readily that the difficult events in my life are occasions in which you are solely and surely at work accomplishing your good purposes! I choose to believe that by your grace you will deliver me from the pit and elevate me to the higher plane of your sovereign and loving plan.