Recently I have been reading through book of 1 Samuel. As I was reading the second chapter of this book I was struck one theme that was apparent... that Samuel was consistently in the presence of the Lord. One example of this is at the end of 1 Samuel 2:21, which states, "Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord." This chapter was both an encouragement and a conviction for me. I am the father of three children (the third due in about six weeks) and a missionary on foreign soil. At times, life here is difficult and frustrating... especially when I realize that my children are missing out on so many things. I wish so much that I could take them places that I love in the States. I want to buy them so many things. I want them to eat American cuisine to their hearts delight. I want them to have towels that have been dried in a dryer. I want them so much to spend time with grandparents, cousins, and aunts/uncles. But, at this time all of those things are not possible. However, our whole family has the privilege of serving God on the foreign mission field. So, like Samuel of old, I believe that my children are being given a special gift... to grow up in the presence of the Lord.
The conviction from the chapter was two fold, first do I truly trust my children to the Lord as Hannah did with Samuel and do I make sure that my children see the presence of the Lord in my home and in their Father. I can truthfully say that their are many times when I fail at both of these task. The good news is that I am a work in progress... every day my Heavenly Father changes me to conform to the image of His Son. Therefore, I hope that as my children grow older each day and each year, they see more of the Lord's presence in their home and in their earthly father. I hope that each of you aspire to see your children grow up in the presence of God and then you do something to make that a reality.