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Thought for the Day by Hazel Barclay (BH Member)
I wonder if during these weeks of lockdown you have ever felt like David in Psalm 40? It seems as if you are sloshing through a “slimy pit of the mud and mire”, waiting patiently for the Lord to hear your cry, lift you out, “set (your) feet on a rock” giving you a “firm place to stand”, putting a “new song in (your) mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” and incidently, in all of this, causing others to “ see and fear and put their trust in the Lord”.
I have just been reminded of Hannah’s Psalm 40 experience in 1 Samuel Chapter 1. Over many years Hannah had carried a burden of grief and disappointment because “ the Lord had closed her womb” (v.6). One day the time came when she simply “cracked”; “ she wept and would not eat” (v.7)- not fun to be with at all!. Her godly and caring husband Elkanah, in trying to comfort her, said that he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t enough to make her happy (v.8). I have a feeling that the enormous blessing of her husband’s love must have added to her sense of bitter disappointment, grief and sense of uselessness.
Then comes that moving picture in verse 10, “ In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord”. Up from her knees, her tears and “praying in her heart”, “she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast”(v.18).
“In the course of time”, that is not immediately, she gave birth to her son Samuel, fulfilled her vow to” present him before the Lord” which in her case meant being separated from him from the day he was weaned, only visiting him once a year (v.20-28). It seems too that God did put “a new song in (her) mouth” a “hymn of praise to (her) God” (1 Samuel 2:1-10) reminiscent of Mary’s song on hearing that she was to be the mother of Jesus(Luke 1:46-55)
So, weeping bitterly before the Lord is the best medicine for a grieving heart stuck in that “slimy pit of the mud and mire”.
And P.S. Hannah did have 5 more children after Samuel’s birth and dedication.
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