It’s now been over a year since my husband and I separated; and in this year, I have shared such sweet fellowship and friendship with my Heavenly Father.
Early on, I bought myself a new Bible– a blank canvas ready to record the words God Himself would speak to me.
I wanted to be able to read through in years to come and remember all God taught me. I want to be able to counsel women and young girls from the very Bible He taught me from.
So I journal, underline, circle and arrow like nobody’s business!
I started in Matthew and finished the entire New Testament. From there I headed over to the Psalms, then dove into the full Old Testament. (yep, Numbers and all!)
I’m currently reading in 1 Samuel and the first few chapters came alive to me in a way that they never have before.
Hannah is my hero, you guys. And she may just become yours too after we’re finished here!
As I read the 1st chapter I began to relate her situation to mine. For me they look different in a lot of ways, but there’s also a lot of similarities.
Maybe as you read about Hannah pouring her heart out before God in desperate desire for a child, you relate on a specific level. Or, maybe your situation is slightly different like mine.
Whatever the case, I’m sure there’s something God desires for us all to learn.
In the beginning of chapter 1, we see her dilemma. She can’t have kids, but her “sister wife” could. (Yes. Her husband did in fact have two wives, but that was common tradition in this time period so we’ll go with it.)
Verses 4 & 5 say,
“Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. But he gave a double portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the Lord had kept her from conceiving.”
How beautiful a picture. In God’s infinite wisdom, He saw it best to keep Hannah from conceiving a child.
What? A beautiful picture? How is that beautiful? It goes on to say she was taunted because of it. Wouldn’t it have been better if she just had kids right away?
Well, because she didn’t, she paints a beautiful picture of how to respond in the face of adversity. A picture I want to show you today!
In the midst of her trial, God was still taking care of her. She had a husband who loved her in spite of her “shortcomings”.
You may have an Elkanah in your life or you might not. Either way, you can rest assured that you are loved by a Heavenly Father Who gives a double portion in spite of your “shortcomings”!
The next thing I saw was how she took her burdens to the Lord. She was so raw and emotional as she worshipped and poured her heart out to the Father, that the priest thought she was drunk!
When was the last time you were that passionate before God? When was the last time I was?
Humbling thought. Often our first response is to call a friend or vent to a co-worker or a spouse. Why don’t we talk to the creator of the universe first instead?
Do you have a broken heart? Tell your Father. He cares, I promise.
So as she pours her heart out to God, she makes a vow to him. She promised that if He gives her a son, she would give him back to God.
We’ve all made desperate pleas to our parents, bosses and teachers– what about God? Are we committed to keeping our end of the deal?
So after she explains herself and says she hasn’t been drinking, she just has a broken heart, verse 18 says,
“’May your servant find favor with you,’ she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.”
I think this has become my favorite verse in the entire Bible. She is broken. She didn’t hear from God. He didn’t promise He would give her a son in that moment. But still– she went on her way, she ate and she no longer looked despondent.
She not only talks to God before her friends or small group (they had small group, right?), but she talks to God before she eats.
Her priorities are aligned with God’s heart. She’s more satisfied with His presence rather than her physical desires for food.
THEN, after she gets a good meal, she no longer looks despondent! She moves forward. Without wallowing in self-pity or bitterness, she trusts God enough with her situation to have her moment then move on.
Like Paul says in Philippians 3,
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”
I have a goal. And moving forward is a part of it.
So in this story God does answer her plea and gives her a son. She names him Samuel and when he’s old enough, she takes him to the temple and gives him back to God where he learns under the same priest that watched his mom beg for him.
She followed through and her son became the Judge that, by the leading of God Himself, chose David to be King of Israel. It was King David’s line and lineage that our Savior Jesus Christ would be born into.
It comes full circle! I don’t know what my full circle looks like. I don’t know what yours will look like either. But we can trust the Lord to love us enough to hold things back or even take things away.
Yes. Stuff happens in life, but we can recover. I can recover. You can recover.