Have you ever wanted something so bad that everyone around you knew you wanted it. Longed for it. Cried for it. And even still it was out of reach.
I love the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 & 2. Hannah’s is a story of hope, a story of the trustworthiness of God. A story of endurance. A story of sacrifice and a story of renewal.
Let’s get a little backstory…
Hannah was one of two of Elkanah’s wives. She had no children, while Peninnah (wife #2) had children. Back in that day, having children brought a sense of pride. It was what you did. It was who you were and for some, like Hannah, who you weren’t.
Throughout the chapter we hear about how much Hannah struggled. How much Hannah was belittled and the hurt that she felt for wanting something so badly and it being so far out of reach. So much so that it kept her up up night. It affected her sleep and eating habits. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this struggle permeated every aspect of her life.
Have you ever heard the saying that “Prayer is the least that I can do”? Can I be honest? I hate that saying… Prayer is not the least we can do. It is the most we can do. Don’t get me wrong, there are usually action steps that we can and have to take. But why do we, why do I, too often exhaust all of our physical and natural options before simply taking it to God first?
In verse 9 of that same chapter Hannah stands up one night after dinner and prayed, wept, cried out to the Lord asking for a son and promising to submit him to a life dedicated to the service of Lord.
In this moment of desperation, Hannah went to God right where she was at. Not put together with pretty words and a calm demeanor. As a matter fact she was in such a state that Eli actually reprimanded her for being drunk.
“…I was pouring out my soul to the Lord…”
That’s what Hannah told Eli. She told him that she was not drunk, she was pouring out her soul to the Lord.
When Hannah told Eli what she was doing Eli then told her to “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.” The Bible says that Hannah went away, ate something and her face was no longer downcast.
I have to believe that Hannah went away believing that God saw her right where she was at. God heard her and she had hope.
At that point in time, Hannah’s situation hadn’t changed. There has only been one miraculous conception and her name didn’t start with Hannah. Even still, she went back home surrendering her heart to God and trusting that, at some point, God was going to fulfill her desire. The thing was, she had to be willing to give it to our Father even when it hurt, even when she didn’t understand. She needed to be willing to let Him show her His faithfulness.
If you read on you will find that Hannah went on to have a boy and she dedicated him to the Lord’s service. She gave up the very thing she desired most to give God the glory.
Lord, burn away the parts of me that don’t look like You, that my character can stand.
Hannah got her promise just like the prophet said she would. And just like she said she would she dedicated Samuel to the service of the Lord and the Lord blessed her.
When Hannah went in to pour out her soul to the Lord she was not concerned with what people would say or what they would think. She surrendered all. She gave all. We can only do that once we have received an understanding of the character and nature of our loving Father.
I pray that today, wherever we are, whether we are on the mountain top or in the valley, we take time to pour out our soul to the Lord. I pray that we submit to God anytime we don’t understand. I pray that we build our endurance. I pray that we continuously choose to go to God when we are burdened and when we are blessed. I pray that we surrender to God’s promises easily and trustingly knowing that He’s working all things for the good of those who love Him. I pray that we better understand the character and nature of God and who we are to Him.
Love you Sis,
Written by: Alexandria Brown
The Pretty & Wise Collective features: