I recently found myself surrounded by tiny clothes, bawling my eyes out. I was sorting through bags of my oldest son’s clothes looking for hand-me-downs that would fit my new baby. Eli just turned two, and his brother, Noble, is quickly outgrowing his newborn onesies. As I sorted through mountains of little boy clothes looking for items that would fit my little guy, I was suddenly struck by how quickly the time was passing. It seems like just a few weeks ago that Eli wore those clothes as I snuggled him close or rocked him to sleep. But now he’s too busy to do much cuddling and too big to rock to sleep. I know I will soon face the same reality with Noble.
All that nostalgia got me thinking about a gal who knew a thing or two about little clothes.
In 1 Samuel 2:19 we read, “ Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.”
Here’s the back story. Hannah desperately wanted a child. She prayed and prayed for one. In fact, she vowed that if God would give her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord’s service (1 Samuel 1:11). He answered her prayer and gave her a son she named Samuel. Hannah did what few moms would have the courage to do. After weaning her long-hoped for son, she kept her vow to the Lord and gave him up to live in the temple.
From then on, she only saw Samuel once a year when she would visit the temple to make an annual sacrifice. Like any mother would, she always made sure he had a warm coat to wear. I’m sure the fact that it is described as a “little robe” isn’t an accident. All mothers know the significance of tiny clothes. They are precious reminders of how small our babies once were. They smell like new life and remind us of rocking chairs, first smiles, and 3 a.m. feedings.
Hannah learned early on a lesson that God is constantly teaching me. My children are not my own. I only get to hold them for a fleeting moment in the hopes that they’ll spend a lifetime serving Him. He is the true Lifegiver and the only one capable of shaping them into His image.
I’m going to work hard not to complain about diapers and laundry this week. I’m hoping to savor every little outfit I get to fold. All the while I’ll be thanking God for the tiny clothes in my house and asking for His help to turn Eli and Noble over for His service.
Will you thank God for your children this week? Will you ask God to teach you anew that they belong to Him and to show you ways to teach them how to serve Him?
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.
There is no one holy like the Lord;
There is no one beside you;
There is no Rock like our God (1 Samuel 2:1-2)