I admit it: I'm not a big fan of the Old Testament. It seems to be filled with a lot of begatting, beheadings, and bemoanings. However, some of the stories in it are among my favorites, especially that of Hannah.
A quick recap: Hannah could not conceive and beseeched the Lord that she might bear a child, promising Him that she would give her son to His service when the boy was old enough. Eventually she conceived Samuel, and keeping to her promise, she gave him to the Lord.
It is interesting that Hannah's story begins with a cry of distress and ends with a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving. But the "happy ending" didn't come until Hannah had endured a trial of faith. Isn't that the way for many of us, that we cry to the Lord for His tender mercies and He tests our faith before allowing us to enjoy the fruits of that faith?
Too frequently, my faith is lacking. I want the happy ending without having to endure the pain and heartache of being tested.
Joy for today: finding faith and then enduring.