Pray, Smile and Crochet by Carolyn Tucker

I don’t know how to crochet and I don’t think I want to try to learn at this point. However, I really appreciate the beauty and skill represented in crochet items. My mother and mother-in-law crocheted afghans for us in the early 1980s and I still treasure them. I can only do potholders with these stretch nylon weave loops and they are too small to keep me warm.

In Old Testament times it was a shame for a woman to be childless. Hannah had been unable to conceive a child for several years. Her husband Elkana tried to comfort her with these words, “Hannah, why are you crying? And why aren’t you eating? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons? (1 Samuel 1:8 ESV). She was too kind and gracious to answer out loud, but she probably thought, “No.”

Because she was barren, Hannah was in the temple of the Lord in Shiloh weeping bitterly, deeply grieving, and praying for a baby boy. Her prayer was so fervent that Eli the priest mistakenly assumed she was drunk. She sadly explained that she was troubled in spirit and was simply pouring out her soul to the Lord. Eli then replied, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel will grant your request to him.” And she said, “May your servant find grace in your eyes.” Then the woman went away and ate, and her face was no longer sad. (1 Samuel 1:17,18 ESV).

Hannah received peace and believed her prayer would be answered. You could say she left the temple with a picture of her baby as part of her heart. She entered the temple in inconceivable physical condition, but left conceiving (in her mind) her own baby. In reality, Hannah entered and left the temple in the same physical condition, but her heart had made a drastic turnaround. She traded her sad face for a happy face and traded her anxiety for peace. Hannah stopped acting like she had lost her last best friend and started crocheting a baby blue afghan. In due time, she happily conceived and gave birth to a baby boy.

Hannah is a prime example of someone shaking mulligrubs. Her emotional pain prompted her to seek help from Jehovah-Jireh (the God who provides). Mothers need to remember that it is not our responsibility to worry and worry, or to try to play God by taking over situations that should be left to Him alone. But it is our responsibility to cast our care on Jesus, to trust him and to pray without concern. Hannah received in her heart what Eli said, and believers must receive what God says through His Word. There are thousands of promises in the Bible, and if we truly believe them, we can live happily as a child of the King.

Anne illustrates the nature of faith as taught in the New Testament. She was absolutely convinced that God was answering her prayer when she left the temple. Jesus said, “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe you have received it, it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NLT). Hannah was no longer sad, even though there was no tangible proof that her request had been granted. “Faith is confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT).

The key: Mothers who pray in faith teach their children to trust God.