“So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.  She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him.’”  (1Samuel 1:20, NIV)

It is helpful for the disciple of Jesus to remember that between a vision and its fulfillment; between a promise and the delivery of what was promised is “the course of time.”  It is here — like nowhere else — that we are challenged because we often become tired of waiting; or we become frustrated with the pace of fulfillment or of delivery; or we allow something else less worthy to divert our attention, or to curb our enthusiasm.

Hannah’s story began much earlier than what we read in today’s verse: She had been childless for a very long time, and had been praying for a very long time for a son.  God had heard Hannah’s prayer and, through Eli the priest, had promised to give her a son.  It wasn’t an instantaneous realization of God’s promise; the promise was realized “in the course of time” through something as common as conception, pregnancy, and childbirth.

Be encouraged by the fact that God always desires to work for us, in us, and through us.  Do not lose heart when the hours creep or when the days seem never to end.  – Luther

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