One thing is needful. These are the words of Jesus (Luke 10:42). That one thing is fellowship with Him. That is the one thing that I need. I don’t always know that as fully as I should and other things begin to creep in and crowd out the one thing.
I was reminded of this “one thing” concept today when reading the story of Hannah, who was barren: Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 1 Samuel 1:8
I’m sure Elkanah was a good husband and provider. We’re told in verse 5 that he loved Hannah. It sounds as though she may have enjoyed a very pleasant relationship with Elkanah. But her heart was longing for one thing, and this one thing is what brought her to the place of pouring out her heart to the Lord in the fervency of her desire for it. She wanted nothing harmful, illegal or immoral. Only what was promised to her: children – a heritage from the Lord.
Elkanah could be a wonderful husband. But he could never be a son. And that was what her heart longed for. What does your heart long for? In those quiet moments when you can still your thoughts and search those secret corridors of your heart – what is that one thing you are longing for? Is it Him?
The longing of my heart to walk more closely with Jesus is almost painful at times. Painful because, to be honest, although I know that this is the genuine desire of my heart, I seem to be so complacent in my seeking after Him. In this complacency the question of the various Elkanah’s of life can be heard – “Am I not better?”
Elkanah will never be a substitute for a son. And absolutely nothing this world can offer – not even spiritual things – can be a substitute for a vibrant relationship with Christ.
Elkanah seemed to be content with the status quo. He didn’t understand Hannah’s longing. I wonder how many of us are like Elkanah – content with another church service, a few songs, a little sermon. But no meeting with God, no glory, a weekly event full of emotion but void of Presence. I KNOW THAT THERE IS MORE!!!!
And standing in church among a crowd of thousands, with voices singing worship choruses in unison, I find myself gazing upward, this question upon my lips – where are you God?