“Hannah became pregnant and in due time bore a son.”
I Samuel 1: 20
“In Due Time”
“God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill all His promises…leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What have I asked God for and it seems as though I have waited a very long time and still don’t have an answer from Him?
What do the words, “in due time” mean to me personally?
“In God, time and eternity are one and the same thing.”
“God is the God of promise. He keeps His word, even when that seems impossible; even when the circumstances seem to point to the opposite.”
I have always loved to ride roller-coasters and ferris wheels. Whenever a Carnival came to town that had a lot of fun looking rides or when the yearly Fair was in full swing, I’d beg my parents to please take me and let me go. I especially loved the ferris wheel because you would go from being very close to the ground to so high up in the air you could see forever. As a child, I could hardly contain my excitement when the wheel rotated completely around – one entire revolution. Around and around again the wheel would take us from a low point to a high point. When a “revolution” was complete, you were on the ground, able to get out of your seat and walk away.
In many ways our lives are a lot like a ferris wheel – there are lows and highs along with a complete revolution from beginning to end.
Maybe you’re wondering what ferris wheels have to do with Hannah’s prayer life. As we have studied this week, Hannah faced some severe lows as well as a special high point when Samuel was born. You may have come to the realization that the ups and downs Hannah lived through were specifically designed by God to bring her to the point of completeness and wholeness in her life. In other words, the “revolution” was complete when Hannah got pregnant.
This seemingly unconnected thought was brought to light for me when I went to the Hebrew translation of our text for today which says, “In due time” Hannah conceived, and was granted the answer to her prayer.
However, I want you to notice, it wasn’t in her time frame that things happened, it was in God’s “due time” or as the Hebrew says, “When things were whole and all that was required was done. When everything God wanted had come about – at the end of its revolution.” These are the words the Hebrew translation uses. Believe it or not, at the end of God’s work, when things were complete in God’s plan, Hannah did get pregnant.
However, there’s more! The Hebrew word used for the phrase “in due time” also means when things were “hot.” This reminded me of my mom calling the family to supper with the words, “Come and get it – everything’s hot!”
Now just imagine for a moment you are Hannah. You have waited and waited. You have asked and asked. And when it was the darkest, your Father called out to you, “Come and get it – everything’s hot! Dinner’s served! It’s complete and whole!” This is exactly what God did for Hannah and this is what He does for you and me. He gives His promise that He is with us, but when we don’t see Him, and we wait for years – it gets tough. We wonder if our Father has forgotten us. Then all of a sudden, when we least expect it, and when from every outward appearance things look the most foreboding, He serves up a banquet feast that knocks us off our feet. It’s a “WOW” for certain! The ferris wheel has come full circle. God’s promise is fulfilled.
You have turned round
the pieces of my life,
Where once there was too
much sky and cloud,
Now plenty of grass and a
path on which to walk
with steady feet.”
Road of My Desire
“O thou who dost direct my feet
To right or left where pathways part,
Wilt thou not, faithful Paraclete
Direct the journeying of my heart?
Into the love of God, I pray,
Deeper and deeper let me press,
Exploring all along the way
Its secret strength and tenderness.
Into the steadfastness of one
Who patiently endured the cross.
Of Him who, though he were a Son,
Came to his crown through bitter loss.
This is the road of my desire –
Learning to love as God loves me,
Ready to pass through flood or fire
With Christ’s unwearying constancy.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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