Couple days ago, I was reading I Samuel chapter 1 in my personal devotions. Since then my heart has been impacted and so impressed by Hannah’s own personal walk with God, specifically seen through her prayer. I have read Hannah’s story many times before in the past, but this time was different.
Through Hannah’s example, I want to instill within my own heart and live before my Lord from within and without in such trust. So, in many ways, I am really writing to myself and sharing it with you, so thanks my friends for listening. Our Lord is so wonderful and timely.
When reading Hannah’s story in the past I remember understanding it, feeling her pain (more so as a married adult), understanding she was ridiculed by those from within her very home and seeing her being mistaken for a woman who was drunk instead of being intensely sorrowful in pray before her Lord by the priest, and so on. If you know her story, you know what I mean.
But reading through her prayer this time it has gripped my heart for it is far more than what meets the eye. Yes, she was asking the Lord for a son and then in the same sentence giving him back to God, but what I have missed many times before is Hannah’s heart (I Samuel 1:10-11).
As I started to think about this prayer that came so humbly yet truthfully from her heart, I began to think, what kind of woman asks God for a son (who has no children – remember her circumstances here) and then in the same sentence says, “…then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life…” (I Samuel 1:11) Think of it.
I know, personally speaking, we have gone through some rough waters as a couple and as a family. I can imagine that you have too. Life is good and filled with many blessings from the Lord, but life can also be very challenging and hard at times – so much so that we cannot even speak the words in prayer. We groan. Been there? When this happens, the Spirit speaks for us and makes intercession for us – I don’t know about you, but this gives me goosebumps! (Thank you, LORD!)
This is where Hannah was. She was groaning. Her pain was intensely deep. Humanly speaking many would probably say Hannah would have been justified in being bitter over her plot in life. She was barren. Everyone around her knew it. On that day being barren was considered a curse from Lord. Now her husband loved her, but he did have another wife; her name was, Peninnah. Now Peninnah wasn’t the nicest lady to be cohabitating with for she was fruitful, multiplying and making sure Hannah felt every dig, every sarcasm, and every hairy eye she made!
Those who have walked the valley of grief (which comes in many forms) know there are stages. My husband and I like to call them “waves” because that’s what it feels like. We can say God is bigger than any situation, but living that out is another.
It is true, God is bigger that ANY situation we find ourselves in, but there is a choice on our end that must be made in each situation or circumstance we find ourselves in: To walk with God or without God.
I know that may sound very trite, but to be very frank it is everything! Without God, I don’t want to even think about how horrible it would be, but I can tell you first hand that with God – with God, the impossible is possible! It is still a process that you must walk through, but His strength and most of all His comfort are far more than I could ever describe on paper (that is another story for another day). It is deeper than the ocean, sweet, gentle yet strong and very VERY tender to your broken heart!
Hannah chose God. She chose to humble herself under the mighty hand of God and His plan for her life whether she understood that plan or not. When found that day in the temple and thought to be “drunk” it was her broken heart speaking to the Lord. Her hurts. Her pains. Her fears.
Her prayer that day could have been much different. She could have prayed for God to shut Peninnah’s mouth or close her womb. She could have prayed that the ridicule and humiliation would stop, but instead, she asked God to change HER! Wow! She approached God with humbleness and confidence in trust including her pain and lack of understanding why to trust – not in self but trust GOD! Hannah is an incredible example of ‘better’ over ‘bitter.’
That prayer in the temple was life altering for Hannah. What a glorious day it would be if we, like Hannah, choose God’s freedom over bondage.
I will never look at Hannah the same again. Her heart was revealed that day for all generations to see. May I follow her godly example.
To you my friend, if your soul is beaten, hurting, looking for something or wondering, take it to the ONE who truly cares for you – GOD! Allow Him to pick you up, heal your soul, set you free from whatever it is that has you bond and may you experience the inward blessings that only God can fulfill. He desires this for you!
Thankful Hannah ran to God!
I did some running to God myself this week! I don’t want to be bond but free in Christ!
He is always there!
God keeps His promises!