A few months ago, I read an article that featured some women of the Bible, lesser known women and what their stories mean for us today. I loved it. Not only because there were quite a few I didn’t remember (or know #honesty), but I was encouraged by the fact that God doesn’t waste space in the Bible. They were very short features, but none the less, it got me on this kick to study lesser known women in Scripture.
Enter in a new “series.” Y’all know me and my “series.” Sometimes they are in point and consistent, sometimes I forget I started them and sometimes I have nothing more to say on the topic – ha! But anyway, I think this will be good for me….the whole studying scripture thing is always good for my soul. 🙂
I have never understood how people who have read the New Testament miss the way Jesus interacted with women. Even stories of women from the Old Testament are inspiring. What I see is women leading, serving, being loved deeply by Jesus.
Some the biggest inspirations over my life and faith come from the bible. Of course there are the big names, like Esther, Ruth and Mary, but I love how God also weaved in so many other stories of women. Lesser known women who may have one or two sentences in scripture, but still have an incredible story to tell.
One such woman? Anna of the New Testament. This was what we know of Anna from scripture from Luke 2:36-38:
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
She gets two verses in the entire Bible. Just two. At first glance that may not seem like much and that there might not be much to learn from Anna. Yet.
Isn’t that just like Jesus? What we might see as insignificant is far more than we can imagine. Plus, if you’re mentioned in the Bible that’s legit. Unless, it’s for shady reasons (where to even start with this list?), then totally not legit.
So Anna. She got married as many young women back then did. Only seven years later, her husband died. That in itself is terrible, but in a culture where women depended on men in many ways, I can only imagine the extra grief that was set before Anna.
She chose joy and serving the Lord. For 84 years! Fasting, worshipping, praying. Just think about that. I mean, real talk for a quick minute, I sometimes fall asleep after 3 minutes of prayer. But Anna was committed and because of this, Anna is the New Testament’s only named female prophetess. #Status
I would say Anna was content with her life. She had dedicated her life in service to the Lord and never gave up on that mission. I really believe she could have gone on to glory and that would have been more than enough for Anna. But the Lord wasn’t finished with her. Because then, Baby Jesus was born (Can I get a Hallelujah and Amen?).
What she thought was another day of praying, fasting and worshipping at the Temple, was much more. Instead, Anna was gifted with perfect timing of seeing Jesus and witnessing Simeon bless baby Jesus.
What an incredible gift! What was Anna’s response? Telling any and all about Jesus and the redemption of Jerusalem.
So yeah, I would say there’s a few things to learn from Anna and her two verses.
Life doesn’t always turn out how we expect
But we can cling to the hope that God still reigns, He has a plan and His timing is perfect.
When we trust Him, He blesses us more than we can imagine
And in ways we couldn’t dare to imagine. But do not dare not to dare friends.
When we draw close to the Lord, He draws near to us
Lord, may I never lose sight of this!
I hope you were encouraged by Anna’s story as I was! Have you read much about Anna before? In what ways has life turned out a bit different than expected?