Waiting on the Lord with joy
1 Samuel 1:18
"And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad."
Hannah so badly wanted a child, but the scriptures tell us that the Lord kept Hannah from having a child. Her heart and soul was extremely sore concerning this. She lost her joy for life. She even lost her appetite for food. One day in the temple she cried out in desperation to the Lord. A priest, Eli, heard her and prayed that the Lord be merciful and grant her her heart’s desire. And so the grace of God became real to Hannah that day by the power of God; and it was sufficient for her in her deepest times of yearning and waiting. Hannah left the temple that day with a new attitude of heart; an attitude of quite trust and new joy. In her heart was a deep peace and an attitude of praise. Immediately she regained her appetite and ate a meal and went about her daily life joyfully as she worshiped the Lord and patiently waited for the Lord to do the miracle in her life.
The Lord also kept Sarah (Abraham’s wife) from having children. After many years of waiting for God to open her womb, Sarah, feeling desperate, decided to make a plan and suggested to Abraham that he take her maidservant and have a child with her. Of course we know that this wasn’t part of God’s plan. Much bitterness and hardship came into Sarah’s life when Ishmael was born. Even after the promised child Isaac was born to Sarah, she endured much heartache because of the maidservant and the boy Ishmael.
Here is a picture of two women, both kept by God's divine will from having children, yet having received a promise from God that he would prove Himself faithful, they had to wait patiently for the promise of God. The difference was their attitude of heart while they waited.
At times we may be faced with the challenge of having to wait for something for which we are praying and longing for. The encouragement is that while we wait, let us do so with the right attitude of heart. Like Hannah, even while we are waiting we can live each day with the peace and assurance that the Lord is in control and that He will provide our daily bread in His time, in His way and in His perfect will. We don't need to make our own way like Sarah. All we need to do is to trust and not waver in our belief and to continue worshiping and rejoicing while we wait..... no matter how long it takes!
That’s the challenge. God does not always answer our prayer in one day, one week or even one year. It could be a long wait. But be encouraged today to keep rejoicing as you trust and wait for the Lord, one day at a time and only by the Grace of God, which will always be sufficient for us, no matter how long the wait.
Psalm 27:14 - "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
Additional scriptures for reading:
I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
2 Thessalonians 3:5
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.