A minister was admiring a man’s farm. He said it was one of the most beautiful farms he’d ever seen—healthy crops, grass expertly cut, and trees lining both sides of the gravel drive. The minister said to the farmer, “My good man, God has certainly blessed you with a splendid farm.” “Yep, but you should have seen it when God had it all to Himself.” The farmer realized what we often stumble over: God often works His sovereign plan through the exercise of our free will. For example, Samuel’s mother Hannah had a burning desire to bear a son. So she prayed that God would give her a son, vowing that if He did, she would give him back to God. We find her prayer in 1 Samuel chapter 1. She said, “O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime.” In due time, Samuel was born. When the child was weaned, she took him to the Tabernacle and dedicated him to the Lord. In His sovereign plan, God used Hannah’s desire for a son to fulfill His own plan to provide a prophet for His people. Today, God may arrange our situations so we are moved to pray. As we pray, God answers our prayer, and in doing so, He fulfills His sovereign will. God gets the glory even as we are filled with joy.
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