I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.
~1 Samuel 1:15b NIV
My husband and I dedicated my son Andrew to the Lord when he was a baby, promising the Lord we would raise him to obey His Word and follow His ways. It was an offering of heart.
Thirteen years ago in January, when Andrew was sixteen, God called his name when a speeding drunk driver and my son, the passenger, slammed into a tree at 10:05 pm after a McDonald’s late-night run. At 11:30, after a phone call from our local hospital, I lay on the floor of my hotel room, begging God to spare his life.
The Bible comes alive when I can relate to someone’s story. For me, I connect with Hannah’s grief. Eli, the priest, rebuked Hannah and accused her of drinking, and Hannah’s husband’s other wife rivaled and mocked her for having no children.
When Hannah told Eli she wasn’t drunk, he told her, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:17). The Lord remembered her request and granted her a son.
After weaning her son, Hannah kept her promise, went to the temple, and returned Samuel to the Lord to serve Him. Every year, Hannah made a robe for Samuel and presented it to him when she came to worship. Imagine how she lit up, seeing him grow taller and stronger.
I cannot bring my son back, but annually, when this time of year arrives, I grieve my loss and his absence. And like Hannah, I trust God’s reasons for taking my son so young. I imagine he is growing and maturing in the Lord’s presence.
God gives to us, but periodically, He takes from us—a family member, a close friend, our health, or something important. The grief may feel unbearable, and we may never fully understand why God permitted us to lose this person or thing.
Our offerings, however, draw us nearer to God. The Greek word for offering is korban, meaning “drawing near to God.”
In moments of severe testing, God seeks to touch a place deep within us. He offers His presence. If we let Him touch us in this inner place, He will draw near to us, although our hearts may feel as if they are breaking. Our hearts become intimately connected with the Lord God Almighty. Nothing else can complete us more than this holy communion with our Lord.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
~Psalm 51:17 NIV
Giving our hearts as an offering to God is a precious gift. He receives our cries of grief and loss.
What might you offer God?
Lord, thank You for the beautiful gifts You have given me in family, friends, home, and work. Help me open my heart to trust You when You take away. May my offerings be from a heart that worships You alone, for You are the true God who gives life and hope. Give me grace to call You when my heart feels despairingly empty, barren with grief, and stricken with loss. Touch me with a closeness, Lord, that only You can give. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2024: An Offering of Heart: Lynne Head: All Rights Reserved