Aug 9, 2015

A Woman After God's Heart...

1st Samuel opens with Hannah. Grace is the meaning of her name. If ever there was a woman who needed grace it was Hannah. Childless. She prayed continually, at the temple... from anguish and resentment, Hannah prayed. She received. She gave back... what she was given, her son Samuel. 

Hannah prayed:
"I’m bursting with God-news!

    I’m walking on air.

I’m laughing at my rivals.

    I’m dancing my salvation.
Nothing and no one is holy like God,

    no rock mountain like our God.

Don’t dare talk pretentiously—

    not a word of boasting, ever!

For God knows what’s going on.
    He takes the measure of everything that happens.
The weapons of the strong are smashed to pieces,
    while the weak are infused with fresh strength.
The well-fed are out begging in the streets for crusts,
    while the hungry are getting second helpings.
The barren woman has a houseful of children,
    while the mother of many is bereft.

God brings death and God brings life,

    brings down to the grave and raises up.

God brings poverty and God brings wealth;

    he lowers, he also lifts up.

He puts poor people on their feet again;
    he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope,
Restoring dignity and respect to their lives—
    a place in the sun!
For the very structures of earth are God’s;
    he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation.
He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step,
    but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark.
    No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle!
God’s enemies will be blasted out of the sky,
    crashed in a heap and burned.
God will set things right all over the earth,
    he’ll give strength to his king,
    he’ll set his anointed on top of the world!"

Samuel grew up in the presence of The Lord. 
Samuel became a prophet, always pointing his people to The Lord. 

The books of Samuel are a history and heart lesson of Israel's story.
Men cried for earthly kings to rule them, instead of the One who had delivered their people out of Egypt, provided manna, fire, shade... every basic need. They still grumbled.

Man will always cry for more.

God gave them what they cried for, earthly kings. David was the second after Saul.

David was called, A man after God's heart. Yet, he sinned, schemed, murdered... and his family was a train wreck. 
Read 2 Samuel for all the dirt. 
Yet, some of David's last words share the wonder that God would use him for His purposes. 

I remember a time, when I read Hannah's story, her heart cry to God. I was pregnant with my first child. A child wanted, already loved and I was already making deals with God. 
"God, I will give her back to you, as Hannah did." 
Okay, she would not be dropped off at the Temple... but still. 
I pleaded and begged. 
I promised I would raise her up to follow Him, love Him, do His work... if he would save her daddy. He was dying, before my eyes as she was growing inside my body. 
I was desperate, as Hannah was. 
Let's make a deal God!

God had a different plan. His plans are always good, even when we are crumbled on the floor. This child of mine, grew to love God, follow God and do His work. God brought her a daddy who loves her, cherishes her, protects her. 
She has another daddy who loves her from above.

God doesn't call the pretty, the neat, the perfect. He calls the willing. He works through our torment, our sin, our pride and worst fears. He works in spite of our train wrecks.

Still... we can be Women After God's Own Heart.

No matter where you find yourself today, crumbled on the floor or arms open wide on the mountain top, God has you. He has this moment in time, and He calls us to be women after His heart. 
Remember the women of The Bible, who never gave up.
These women of strength, grace and fiery will. 
They knew Whom they were loved by.
He loves you sister with a passion we cannot fully know this side of Heaven.
Rise up and fall into His arms. 


Don't be shy...