Read: 1 Samuel 2:1-11, 18-21

His mother used to make for him a little robe. (v. 19)

Imagine this bittersweet walk for Hannah, who gave up her son to be raised in the temple by Eli the priest. Every year she sewed a robe for Samuel and delivered it during their annual pilgrimage. While making his robe, did she ever regret relinquishing the son she had earnestly prayed for? Visualize Hannah placing the colorful linen over her young son’s head, making sure it fit, saying a prayer for his well-being, and recommitting him to God.

I often refer to my own mother as “the sewing machine queen.” Making our clothes was not only a way to save money, but also a creative outlet. Over the years, children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren have been gifted with beautiful handmade items that show careful attention to details and a loving investment of time and energy.

I imagine Hannah’s offering showed the same attentive detail and care for Samuel, whom she probably saw only once a year. She had released him to serve God, and this was how she could demonstrate her love in a tangible way. With every stitch and every step to deliver the little robe, she likely prayed, “My heart exults in the Lord” (v. 1). If your life’s journey involves a sacrifice, trust the outcome to God, who will honor your gifts and “guard the feet of his faithful ones” (v. 9). —Denise Vredevoogd

Prayer: Lord, help us to follow Hannah’s example of sacrifice and submission to you.