1 Samuel is full of embarassing stories and lessons well learned, shall we say. Hannah. A woman of complete and total faith is given a child after being tormented and teased by Penninah because she had given birth to children. She was ever faithful in turning her eyes to God and when it was time, HIS time, she had Samuel. I cannot imagine how overwhelming it must have been to be grace with a baby after all of her prayer and patience only to have to give him up immediately. Her faith in the greatness he was going to be must have been enough to pull her through. I think I may have died from grief alone. Samuel learned to hear God with the help of his mentor Eli. He even tells Samuel that he is going to carry out the things he spoke against his family. Eli was unable to control his kids! (WOW!! If God took a look in our homes and did to us what he did to Eli because our kids were out of control??? There is something to be said for adulthood these days!) And Samuel had to pass that message on to Eli! That's what I call the bearer of bad news!! That would be like telling your Dad that God was about to destroy his home becasue his older two sons slept with half the cheerleading squad.
Also in Samuel, the Philistines learn that the Ark carries with it plagues and sickness. Funny how they return it pretty quickly after that! Embarassing attempt on their part!! Then there is our ever stubborn children in Israel who are now demanding a king despite God saying all these terrible things that will happen. Saul learns that it is more important to follow the whole of God's will. Pressure around us has random effects on us everyday. The ideas of deicphering the voices we are hearing and following the right ones stood out most to me throughout this book. We see disobedience through the Israelites, Eli and his sons, Saul, Jonathan, and each time God points out the simplicity of doing what HE asks. We don't always hear the right voice.
David arises leaving Saul to feel some bitterness. Bitterness is something I have battled in my past. Here Saul had made all these accomplishments and then David comes along to battle this giant leader. They were praising him and there was even rumore of him becoming king. How do you deal with bitterness? I know I shut down. I have a hard time forgiving and moving past. The secondary item here is David's smallness in comparison to the mighty hero he was to be! David was an unlikely choice but with the spirit, he was a true superhero! Victory comes with the spirit.
Here is how I am thinking to apply this practically:
We may be asked to do things that seem un-accomplishable! (Is that a word??!!) But if we hear the voice, do as we are asked, have the faith to follow through, knowing God knoew what he is doing, in the end, we will emerge where he wanted us to be.
Samuel makes me think of General Hospital! There is so much drama. So many stories going on at one time!
We have had 2 rainy days in a row here. That means school all morning and then figuring out what to do with the girlies! Madi is definitely the harder one to keep busy. She loves to have me with her all the time. Therefore, being in the house all the time means reading lots of books, listening to music, adding school work without adding school work. (Try THAT one on for size!) It also means making food every 5 minutes. By the way, that is an exaggeration. (We learned that when we did a literature lesson.) I have tried having snacks pre-prepared and all, but I just can't keep up with my bottomless pit of a child. Needless to say, it wears me out more to stay home than to be gone all day!
I am oing to be making a quick run to the store for some perishables, but not spending more than $10.
Now, I am going to close today's entry with identity. What do you feel is your identity? How are you finding it? Has your identity changed over time? In Exodus 6:6-8 God is again promising to take the Isrealites out of slavery. That was all they knew. They knew that they existed to merely serve someone else! Freedom was foreign. What would they become? What would their identity be? I know my identity has changed several times over the years, however, it all was leading me to where I am now and where I will go in the future. Sometimes it seems like my identity is only discovered after the fact. Sounds like a multiple personality disorder. In all of the things I love, I am always involved in teaching, somehow. I definitely need to work harder at identifying and using these things.
So what is your identity? How do you use it? How do you find it? Thoughts?