vv 20-21 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord. And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
A family blessed by God as Samuel begins a life in His service.
This is the final glimpse we get of the family at home. Hannah, having handed Samuel over to Eli and previously thought of as infertile, goes on to enlarge her family, and Samuel stays at Shiloh to serve at the Tabernacle in the presence of the Lord. So I found myself back in the 21st Century reflecting on how parents cope with ‘the empty nest’ when the children have packed their belongings and begun to make a life of their own.
Every one of you, readers, has caused your parents some palpitations as you took your cases and set up your own home somewhere. Some of you have probably felt it for yourselves as your children (no longer children!) launched out on a journey of their own. How did YOU feel? My mother was about 70 before she let out her feelings about when I went off to boarding school at the age of 10; she had found it really hard. My guess is that Hannah and Elkanah felt much the same; they had given away their first son at an early age, just as they had promised God, and they had to learn what trusting God for your child meant in practice. Do you know and pray for others in that same boat now? Or is it your situation today?