By Lynn Jones
It’s been said that a good song penetrates the ear with ease and leaves the memory with difficulty. There is such a song in the Bible in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. It was sung by a mother named Hannah in praise of God for the gift of her son Samuel. And a thousand years later it was echoed in the song that Mary sang upon learning that she would bear the Son of God into the world (Luke 1:46-55). It was “A Mother’s Song.” As Hannah’s song served as a model for Mary’s song, it ought to serve as a model for mothers and for all of us today.
We can learn from Hannah’s song that we ought to offer our songs of prayer and praise to God. Parents have received no greater gift than the gift of our children. Hannah recognized that. In fact, the name of her child, “Samuel,” meant “asked of God.
That does not mean that being a parent comes without stresses and strains. A mother was home with her two small children one morning when her cell phone rang. As she rushed to get it off the kitchen counter, she knocked it onto the floor. As it fell, it hit the family dog, who leaped up, howling and barking. The woman’s small children, startled by the noise, broke into loud screams. The mother finally was able to answer the phone, and her husband who had called could barely hear her above the sounds of the dog’s howling and the children’s screaming. He finally said, “I don’t know if this is the right number or not, but it sounds like my home.” Rearing children is challenging, but the task is made easier and more wonderful when, like Hannah, we see our children as blessings entrusted to us by God.
Hannah saw her son as a gift from God, and more than anything else she wanted him to learn about the Lord and to serve him. In fact, the occasion for her song was the time she had taken him to the place of worship at Shiloh to learn about God. She was willing to surrender him to the purposes of God. Times have changed, but the importance of teaching our children about the Lord and the importance of their serving Him have not changed.
Rearing children in our day, as in every day, requires faith. A woman was walking down a sidewalk with a dim light in her hand. A neighbor passing by said, “That doesn’t give much light.” She responded, “No, but it shines as far as I can step.”
There are a lot of unknowns in the journey we face as parents, but God will give us the light we need to meet for the challenge of every step we take. We need to trust Him for that, and, with Hannah, sing the song of faith.
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.