Hannah. A woman well acquainted with waiting. She had the love of her husband. She had a double portion. But, she did not have a child. For her, she could gain the whole world but her heart would still lay in pieces on the ground. To make matters worse, the woman that shared her husband found great pleasure in crushing the shards into fine powder with her annoyingly fruitful womb and surgically sharp tongue. Her poor husband did everything he knew to do to comfort her. He knelt down and carefully gathered the pieces from the dirt. He lifted them up to show her and vainly attempted to fit them back together. All his might, all his skill, all his tenderness, all his love could not mend what the Lord had broken.
God had every ability to open her womb yet He waited. He knew the impact of the little life that would soon sprout within her. He knew the kind of tree He would plant in His house that would usher in a king who would be a shadow of the King to come. The fruit was too precious to let it be plucked by man, sit in a bowl, without being consumed, and rot.
So, He ordained a waiting for Hannah. Not just for her son Samuel but for her soul as well. He knew the best thing for her heart was to come to the end of itself. To reach the point that there was no way she could ever glue the pieces back together. All she could do was let out tear-soaked prayers and throat-tight cries to the only One who could do more than repair a heart but give her a completely new one. He would give her a desire to give up the very thing for which she longed. She would utter a vow to devote her only child to live ever in the service of her God.
And the Lord heard. He remembered Hannah. He boasted in her humility. He lifted her up. And in turn, from a new heart, she worshiped Him. She gave a sacrifice of praise - her only son.