I am thrilled to introduce you to my new friend, Diana. I met Diana in the 31 Day Writers Facebook group. She had reached out for some help with a button for her series and I offered to help her. She is a sweet lady with a beautiful heart. I have loved getting to know her through her writing and on Facebook over the last month. I know you will be blessed by her words.
When I was twenty-one I was ready to have a baby. I had been married three years but the pregnancy didn’t happen right away and so I was in God’s waiting room. Month after month I was hoping to become pregnant, and month after month the pain of not being pregnant was great. Could there be something wrong with me? In 1 Samuel 1:3-8, we read the story of Hannah. Hannah was tormented. Not only was she barren, but as the other wife, Peninnah would annoy and upset her on purpose. What pain and despair Hannah must have suffered as she waited for God to bless her with a child.
Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, was an influential man and he wanted children, especially sons to continue his family name. Elkanah’s other wife was Peninnah. The scripture doesn’t reveal who was his first wife. If you will, imagine the strife that existed in this family. Perhaps Hannah was the first wife. Jealousy, a wicked emotion, developed within Peninnah; the scripture says Elkanah loved Hannah in a very special way.
Hannah compared herself to Peninnah. Peninnah had children, sons and daughters, her quiver was full. Hannah’s was empty. Peninnah is ruthless, as she is aware of the stigma Hannah suffered, there is shame and pain. Scripture says she would tease and torment Hannah. Hannah suffered month after month, year after year. She became more and more distraught, no longer depressed but oppressed. She was thin not eating, she was beside herself. Her husband loved her, he even pleads with her, “Why are you crying and not eating? Why are you sad? Am I better to you than ten sons?
Three times a year they went on a trip to the temple to make sacrifices. On this particular trip, Hannah is in the temple alone, grieving, offering her prayers to God, the one who can end her plight. What is different this year? Perhaps she is at the end of her rope. Hannah says in verse 11, “Lord you are the most powerful Lord, see how sad I am. I am your servant, remember me, if you give me a son, I will give him back to you.” Desperate, tearful Hannah is speaking to the Lord but not in a selfish way, her lips are moving but words can’t be heard.
It reminds me of Romans 8:26 which says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
The scriptures say in verses 14-18, that the priest Eli mistakes her actions and accuses her of being drunk. She explains to the priest that she is not drunk, that she made a vow that if God would give her a child she would give the child back to God. Eli the priest was convinced that she was a good woman. So Eli spoke to God on her behalf. Hannah had peace that God would give her the desire of her heart.
Beloved, what are the desires of your heart? How long have you been waiting for God to answer your prayer? Are you suffering because your husband is not saved? Do you suffer with infertility? Do you suffer with chronic pain? Perhaps, you are in a blended family and you suffer ridicule from the ex-wife or children from the previous marriage. How do you respond when there is strife? Are you turning to substances instead of God? At this time of the year we are reminded to be thankful in all circumstances. How are you doing with gratitude?
Father God, you are awesome. You are the alpha the omega the beginning the end. Your word tells us in II Timothy 2:7 that you did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. I pray for the woman that is struggling in her marriage, or in a blended family. I pray for you who have been waiting for a child that God will become real to you. I pray for you who are hurting this season, God loves you. For the woman who is in emotional and physical pain, God loves you. Will you like Hannah trust God?
Hannah bore Samuel and after he was weaned she took him to the temple and dedicated him to the Lord. Just as God answered Hannah, He answered my prayer and I have two sons.
““O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…” (1 Samuel 1:11)