As we continue in our series Choices Matter by Donna Otto, we come to a lesson on Hannah. Now to be honest, sometimes I don’t follow Donna’s train of thought very well. I always walk away with several insights, but the way she connected them together doesn’t always make sense to me. So if my notes ever seem a little disjointed, you’ll understand why. Today is a good example.
I really appreciated reading and thinking about the story of Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-2:11). I loved how Donna explored the idea of having hope in who God is, despite the fact he doesn’t grant us what we desire right away (or sometimes at all!). She patiently waited on God. Her pledge to him was not a bargain; it was based on a trust in who God was. She was persistent in her prayers. She believed God could and would grant her desire. And she was prayerful. She took her requests directly to God. She didn’t wallow around in despair, complaining to everyone who would listen. She poured out her heart to God.
Donna also explored the concept of “doing the next thing.” She said that sometimes the next thing is the minutia. She told a story about Elisabeth Elliot shortly after she lost her husband Jim, a missionary killed at the hands of the people he was trying to reach. Elisabeth was trying to figure out how to cope with the tragic loss of her husband and care for her young daughter. Her mother advised her to just “do the next thing,” and the next thing was to change her daughter’s diaper. We often desire to go from grand thing to grand thing, but life is not always like that. We can live by our circumstance, basing our degree of contentment in how we’re living or how important we feel. We must live by conviction and a belief in a sovereign God. Everything we do is important to Him, and even our small daily tasks are holy.
Thinking about this concept shapes our definition of being superwoman. We don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound. We’re not required to save the world every day. Sometimes what we need to do is change a diaper. Don’t define your value by the number of big things you are doing. Just do the next thing.
For more posts in this series, click here.