Developing a Holy Imagination

Daily Reflection/Produced by The High Calling

Developing a Holy Imagination

My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.

1 Samuel 2:1-10

Intellectually it made no sense to Hannah why she was unable to conceive a child. For this failure, she was thoroughly ridiculed. When the only word her intelligence had to offer was "No," Hannah's imagination still prayed, "Yes." And, eventually, a child was born to Hannah. She named him Samuel. Long before Samuel was born, Hannah imagined him in her prayers.

Peeling back the layers of God exposes, more and more, our need for imaginative qualities and necessities of faith. With Samuel in her arms, Hannah tried as best she could, as best anyone ever can, to offer a poem in praise of a faith-filled imagination.

Imagination helps broaden our understanding of the power and intellect of God.

Imagination helps us comprehend how the lowly will rise up; how the hungry can be well-fed.

Imagination helps us fathom how the house of the barren will ring out with joy.

Imagination helps bring Hannah’s poem of praise to life. We are able to grasp how the poor will be raised up from the dust and the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor (1 Sam. 2:8).

Imagination helps us—along with Hannah—try to comprehend the greatness of our God:

"The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;
the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king,
and exalt the power of his anointed." (1 Sam. 2:10)

When faith leaves your intellect at a dead end, ask God to excite your imagination.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:

What happens when you let your imagination run freely? How has imagination enriched your faith?

PRAYER:

Lord God, it is true that many things in life seem to make no sense. Why do good people suffer? Why are the answers to prayer delayed? Where are you when injustice rules? In the swirling confusion of daily events, I ask you not only for a holy intellect but, even more, for a holy imagination. Amen.

READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:

Hannah prayed and said,
"My heart exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in my victory.

"There is no Holy One like the Lord,
no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

"Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.

"The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.

"The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low, he also exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.

"For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;
for not by might does one prevail.

"The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;
the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king,
and exalt the power of his anointed."

1 Samuel 2:1-10



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