Do you remember the movie, "Aladdin?" One line from that movie has stuck with me. Aladdin and Jasmine are being chased because the market owners believe that they are thieves. Just as Aladdin is about to jump off a roof he turns to Jasmine with his arm out-stretched and says, "Do you trust me?"
She decides she does and follows him into the air. That phrase is key to the general plot of the movie and I think it is key to our lives as demonstrated in the following example.
Her empty heart and arms ached. Yes, her husband loved her and he assured her of it, but she wept over her unfulfilled desire for a child. Motherhood was highly valued in her day so her barrenness brought her mockery and distain.
Each year she and her husband went to the temple to worship and offer sacrifices. This particular year, after fulfilling the sacrifices and ceremonies required by law, they sat down to eat before departing for home. However, she left the meal and returned to the temple to beg the Lord for a son. There she promised, "Lord if you give me a son, I will return him to you that he might serve you all of his days." As she knelt begging and weeping, the priest thought she was drunk. She said, "No, I only beg the Lord for a son." The priest then prayed that the Lord would grant her deep desire.
In due time, Hannah did give birth to a son and she named him Samuel. She delighted in each little finger and toe. She fell in love with his infectious smile. Her heart swelled with delight as he ran to her whenever he was afraid or wanted to be held. Yet she did not forget her promise to give him back to God. The exact age at which she took Samuel to the temple priest to live there is unknown, but he could have been as young as 3.
It should be noted that the priest's own sons were described as: scoundrels, corrupt, sons of Belial (the demon of lawlessness) and worthless. Whatever your preferred Bible translation, none of these men sound like good role models for this little fellow. However, Hannah did not trust men to care for Samuel; she trusted God.
I believe that God regularly asks us, "Do you trust me?" as he reaches his arms to us and points toward high mountains we need to climb. He asks this when we walk through dark valleys. He asks, "Do you trust me?" when we are faced with the loss of property. He asks again when a child leaves for the military, college, or a mission trip. He asks when we loose our job. He asks again when someone dies at a time we feel is premature.
I can only guess at the heartbreak Hannah must have felt as she headed home without her beloved child at her side. But she remembered, as we must, that God is trustworthy and will not forsake us. He demonstrated this when he later blessed Hannah with three more sons and two daughters.
When God asks, "Do you trust me?" we need to remember: "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you," Psalm 9:30
In Psalm 9:9-11 we are told to always trust God as our refuge, a continual provider and our sure foundation in spite of what we are experiencing from day to day.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit," Romans 15:13
Helen McCormack writes the Reflections column every six weeks. She and her husband, David, are serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Germany.