A Hannah Heartache

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Psalm 127:3).

When you are facing mountains of laundry or dealing with childhood squabbles, it's hard to imagine the heartache of couples who long for children. Two of our dearest friends experienced such heartache. For ten years they tried without success to start their own family. Realizing that God had chosen a different path for their marriage, they decided to "adopt" our children and actively help us when homeschooling. Whenever they came to visit, my children would squeal with delighted anticipation and run to the door to greet them. Natural-born teachers at heart, they usually brought a new educational gift to entertain our children, or they would spend countless hours reading their favorite stories. Even though bitterness in not having children of their own could have ruled their hearts, they chose instead to share their lives with unselfish love.

The story of Hannah in 1 Samuel also tells of the heartache of a childless woman. Crying out in despair before the Lord in the temple, Hannah knew the anguish of being barren. As she prayed silently for a little one to fill her arms, Eli the priest mistook her prayers for a drunken stupor. Hannah bravely told him her story and asked for God's blessing on her life. Eli assured her that God had indeed heard her prayer and told her to go home. The following year, Hannah's prayer was answered and Samuel was born. For several years she experienced the privilege of mothering this young boy and fulfilled her vow to bring him to the temple to serve the Lord (1 Samuel 1:11).

Every child is a miracle and a precious gift from God. Whether our own or someone else's child, we have the unique opportunity to be an influence for God's good in the hearts and minds of little ones. Our dear friends discovered that fact many years later. After the lengthy and expensive process of adoption, God finally gave them their heart's desire. Together we cried tears of joy for two precious baby girls. God had answered their prayers, and we praised Him for His most wonderful blessing in life — children. "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD" (Psalm 113:9).

Lord, how wonderful it is to be a parent! Thank You for the privilege of loving children and teaching them Your truths. Even when the days are long and hard, help me to always treasure this most precious blessing. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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DIANE P 07/03/2009 04:09:35

Thank you for the wonderful reminder that these children are indeed an heritage from the Lord!!! We quickly forget when disobedience & self-will abound! But then how different are we from them when we disobey & are self-willed? We're not!!! Blessings!

Sally J 07/04/2010 18:10:43

Can relate. I also had to wait a while to have children. Having married in my 30s, then through infertility, we finally went through a couple of lengthy and expensive well worthwhile adoptions. Children are truly a heritage from the Lord.

JILL D 07/02/2011 03:26:37

After 17 years of trying for children, 8 miscarrages later, we gave birth to our first born. 3 years and 6 weeks later or 2nd child. They are now 7 and 4. I love being a parent. Since summer started there are those days when they can try you. Yesterday was one. Then last night while I was showering my 4 year old came in and said she put something on my bed for me. I got out of the shower and there were my pjs all laid out for me. How sweet. I told her how thoughtful that was and how much I loved her. She said, \"we will be parents before you know it.\" I replied with \" Yes I know and it goes so fast, Mommy doesn\'t want to think about that right now. Then she said, \"Life is so good, because Jesus really loves us\" Wow what an end to a \"perfect\" day! I love being a parent.

ANI P 07/02/2011 04:57:29

suffering from secondary infertility, I cried out to the Lord last night for my desire to carry another baby. I am surprised and blessed at this devotional today. I know the prize I am going for, I just need to have hope and stay focused in prayer.

MAYA T 07/02/2011 07:34:03

Very timely and needed today!

ANNE C 07/02/2011 09:22:11

Am always grateful to the good Lord for blessing me with 4 children who are 2 years apart from one another. The first 10 years were really challenging and tiring. I really had to depend on God to provide me with the patience, wisdom and strength in nurturing them. Now, that they are in their teens, am truly enjoying communicating and doing fun stuff together. Those long tiring days were worthy of them all....

RENEE R 07/04/2011 11:17:43

My husband and I waited 9 years for a baby. He\'s a awesome gift from God and Both God and my son has tought me so much!

KRISTA F 07/14/2011 19:52:55

God gave me a verse for this: Proverbs 13:12 New King James \"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a Tree of Life. That\'s how I feel about my daughter. We waited 8 years for her and haven\'t been able to have another. I wanted lots of kids because I had a lonely childhood. Now, my baby is lonely :( But I am so grateful for her. She\'s almost perfect. She\'s very obedient, has a willing spirit, she loves God, loves people, seeks after God (reads the Bible on her own). She has given me the best 91/2 years of my life so far. My heart sometimes breaks that I don\'t have more, but yet look how good I\'ve got it and how can I ever complain about that. Praise God, He is Good, all the time!!

KRISTA F 07/14/2011 19:55:36

Oh and I also relish the toys and laundry. I know full well that it\'s only because I\'m blessed that there are toys scattered and small clothes to wash and hang. Thank You Lord for the mess, because it means I am blessed!! I spent so much time wishing for those \"problems\" I\'m glad to have them!!

LILLIAN J 07/02/2012 06:34:44

Thanks, Krista, for your perspective. I love it!

KATHY S 07/02/2012 07:41:58

My child is truly an \"Angel\" sent from Heaven. God surley knew what he was doing when he gave me my precious son. I am so very Thankful, always. I have a friend that has been trying for years to have children, then they tried invetro, each invetro attempt has failed. She wants to adopt, her husband does not. I pray that God will bless them with a child soon, they are in their 40\'s and the longer it takes, the harder it will be for them. (She has had health issues). My heart goes out to them and to all who have had to wait or struggle with having children of their own. May God Bless all of those who desire to be parents with children.

TARA L 07/02/2012 08:04:22

Thank you for this reminder to cherish my children (and my neighbor\'s children!) today. I had a rough night of very little sleep. Found out last night a friend committed suicide on Friday night and cried myself to sleep, I woke up with hives in the middle of the night from the stress of it I guess, and when hubby left for work at 6:30 am, our very intense 3 year old was screaming \"no more nap, no more nap!\" I woke up feeling very agitated, tired, and not ready to handle my 3 kids today, especially the 3 year old who has \"issues\". This piece helped me get back to reality and change my perspective on the day ahead, even if I am exhausted and hurting inside.

KATHLEEN W 07/02/2012 10:09:50

This wonderful lesson from the bible reminds us that we should always look to the lord for answers and not rely on our own understanding. My husband and I longed for a child for many years before the lord revealed to us that we would have a daughter and the name to give her when she arrived. This was an amazing journey. We had faith and prayed and had our church praying for us and we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter through adoption. We look at her each day and can\'t help but give thanks to the lord for granting our prayers!

BETTY D 07/02/2012 10:20:35

I know you mean well, but please.... don\'t misuse the word \"adopt\". If your friends were not adding their last name to the kids, not leaving them an inheritance, not with them 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, not attending to every illness or personal struggle, not loving them thru everything, then they did NOT adopt your children. If they did not appear before a judge, they did not adopt your children. Adoption is not a casual thing; it is the creation of a family. God does not just casually bring us goodies when He has time; we become His children through adoption -- He is with us 24/7, gives us His name, prepares an inheritance for us, shapes us & guides us lovingly throughout all our sinful ways. Becoming a mom or dad through adoption is not a casual nor occassional thing either -- it is 24/7 lifetime commitment of love & belonging. Society today wants us to believe that we can adopt a road, adopt a brick, adopt \"fill in the blank\" -- that it is a casual, \"do it when its convenient\" thing. It\'s not casual, nor convenient. But it is amazing.. and wonderful beyond words. For anyone struggling with infertility (and I did for 13 years), I highly recommend you pray about & research the option of adoption. Scary? Yes.... but soooooooo worth it!!

GWYNETH K 07/02/2012 11:55:39

Praying for you today, Tara, that the Lord will comfort you and you will have some time for rest this afternoon, too! God is good and brings His blessings to us in many ways. My hope is that all of us will seek Him and His blessings and joy for our lives every morning : )

CARMEN DAWSON 07/02/2013 13:43:07

Betty D "A soft answer turns away wrath" is the verse that comes to my mind when reading posts like yours on public forum like this one. Although your perspective is different than the authors. God puts us in the perfect place to comfort the broken hearted. The word adopt has many uses and in our circle of influence to those who are hurting we will also giveaway them a "family", a "refuge", and a temporary adoption into the warm atmosphere the Lord has blessed our home with. Encourage one another and lift each other up. I These. 4:11.:

Amy Jensen 07/02/2015 13:59:27

What a blessing to be reminded of our blessings! It is too easy to forget what a treasure our children are and I'm so thankful for reminders like this one. My husband and I weren't able to have biological children, but the Lord led us to foster care and adoption of five beautiful children. We went from no children to five in less than three years ages 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6! It was a huge adjustment, but SUCH an overwhelming blessing. Each day has struggles, but also immeasurable joy!

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