26 Jul My Greatest Delight
Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance…those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:1, 10)
In the movie “Beaches,” Bette Midler says, “But enough about me, let’s talk about you…what do YOU think of me?” The more I think about that expression, the funnier it gets, because it really hits home. In my conversations with others, I am often so focused on what I want and why I should be heard. Even when they are speaking, my first thought is how it affects me and what I can get out of it.
That is what’s so interesting about Hannah. After years of barrenness and the nagging shame that accompanied it; after God finally gave her the son she begged for; Hannah breaks into song. She sings about God: his salvation, his care, his upside-down kingdom where the first shall be last. She sings about a future king, God’s “Anointed One” (literally, “Messiah”). And, strangely, she never mentions her miracle baby—not his inquisitive eyes, nor his pudgy fingers, nor his sunrise smile that melts her heart. She delights in the Giver more than the gift, in God more than his answer to her desperate prayer. Hannah doesn’t make the mistake of believing her baby’s delivery was her deliverance.
So often, when God grants me what I’ve prayed for or multiplies my earthly blessings, my inclination is to delight in the gift over the Giver. I turn good things into god things. My hope and my identity become bound to children, spouse, raises, accomplishments, acceptance—all marvelous blessings but only because of the Blesser.